All Done in Love

Ponder this truth well:

a holy and exemplary life

is incomparably more beneficial

to the neighbour than fine discourses.

The world is more deeply touched

by a saintly example

than by eloquent words.

Maxim of Love 11:4
Jean-Pierre Medaille, SJ

Sharing our stories...


Genuine truths are always a constant …. fixed across time; persisting –  unchanged, unbroken – from age to age, from generation to generation. We see them as truth because each idea – each insight – is drawn from our sacred, spiritual traditions …. anchored, firmly, in authentic life-affirming wisdom. We know them as truth because in our experience, in our own lives, wisdom is never wrong – it never misleads, nor misinforms. And we hear them as truth because true words speak from that very deep place of love that stirs our heart, and moves our soul.


Such eternal truths – what Medaille has called Maxims of Perfection – are the purest form of knowledge; indivisible, indestructible …. surviving the harshest criticism and the strongest of attacks. Enduring – always enduring. Thriving, breathing, reproducing …. living comfortably, securely, within stone walls of protective intellect …. maturing and aging gracefully, but never decaying, never dying. Such are Medaille’s Maxims …. divine truths that guide us to live our life with humility, generosity, compassion …. eternal truths that teach us to mirror the way of Jesus, and to carry his love.


Nice words (I hope) … that was my intent. I tried to write the above paragraphs in a stately and eloquent manner – a “fine discourse” to quote JP Medaille. But it’s not as easy as it reads. It took time and effort. It took thought and reflection. It took energy and motivation. We’ve seen many times – in religion, in politics – how elegant, poetic words (and ideas) can be powerful, convincing, seductive and dangerous. They can explain a truth … or they can portray a lie. They can tell a wonderful story … or they can expose harmful gossip. They can create a vision. They can inspire a dream. They can heal a heart. They can move us to tears.

In the best of ways, eloquent words can impact a human life. But, can they ever replace the loving actions of caring hands ... and a compassionate heart?


Saint Paul said,“For the good that I would I do not; but the wrong which I would not, I do.“ It’s not always easy to walk the more difficult path. To get your hands dirty. To roll up your sleeves and show someone that you truly, deeply care. It often takes that special, extra effort …. to let go of the ego and follow the way of love.

As I reread Medaille’s message, I’m reminded of the words of Mother Teresa: “If you can’t feed a hundred people, feed just one” … followed by my personal favorite: “A life not lived for others is not a life.” Ours is a journey that goes beyond eloquent, elegant words. Ours is a journey filled with the life, the way, the heart of Jesus – a journey that we can only know through love.

Mark Dickinson
Stittsville, ON


#1 arletteh 2014-03-02 19:22
Oh , I have so often wished to "have a voice" in "the public forum" .Now, as my life has become so much more difficult and at times agonizing, I feel the Spirit drawing me to "preach" as Gandhi stated : "My life is my message." Thus I wish to live . It is a frightening challenge and yet it's the way for me at this time to become whole.Arlette

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