By Fr. Alan Hartway
I remember back in high school at Precious Blood Seminary, that we staged the Broadway musical, “Oliver!” with what talent such as we had. I really remember only two of the songs. First was “Food, Glorious Food!” — of course — and the other “Where is Love?” sung by one of the youngest student with a clear voice playing Oliver himself, the abandoned street waif.
Where is love? The answer today to the question is as difficult as ever, because we are moving into a love deficit culture. Everyone dismays as one news story piles on another of violence, racism, tribalism, and indifference to the environment. Indeed, we can ask, “Where is love?”
During the retreat “St. Gaspar and the Song of Songs: Communion and Community” the weekend of Oct. 26-27, we will be asking that question and exploring St. Gaspar’s answer for our own time, which in many ways is much like his.
We humans are repeating ourselves, but as in every great musical about human suffering, there’s always a great love song. The great love song of the Bible is this Song of Solomon. St. Gaspar was surely very familiar with it and used its verses deftly to address the needs of the bond of charity for a new community.
Today we are striving for the renewal of Gaspar’s community in love so that the apostolate of reconciliation and preaching may be effective in our times. If people come to us for healing, having been at a loss for love, then they should find love among us. Indeed, “Where is love?” is the cry of the bride searching for her beloved throughout this short book in the Bible.
You are invited to join and go deep into the wine cellar with the Shunamite woman and St. Gaspar and taste the rich depths of love to discover there. Register now for this spiritual opportunity to explore another aspect of Precious Blood spirituality.
Fr. Alan Hartway has been a Missionary of the Precious Blood since 1974 and pastor of Guardian Angels, Mead, Colorado since 2007. He served on the faculty at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado, for 16 years.