| By The Most Rev. Jacques Fabre-Jeune, CS Bishop of Charleston

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ - February 2023

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

God’s love for us is our first love: it extends beyond time and space. It is a cause of great consolation and joy that our destiny consists of being loved by God. Before we were even conceived, God knew us and loved us so much that he was willing to send his only son to die for us. He considered each of us as he crafted the universe with perfect order and precision, knowing that one day we might encounter and observe all the good that he created.

God knows that to love us, he will allow us to choose freely to accept or reject him. And yet he never ceases to pursue our hearts even when we choose to separate ourselves from him through sin. When we fall, he waits in anticipation for us to accept him into our hearts through grace, so that we might encounter him in his perfect mercy. What greater love could ever exist?

In prayer, we commune with the one who will always love us, and in Mass and adoration, we see him face to face. This is the beauty of our faith, where the divine makes his presence among and in us.

Sometimes the businesses and distractions of everyday life cause us to forget the abundance of love God has for us. In this month of the Holy Family, we remember that he gave us a concrete example of how we can love those around us. St. Joseph and Our Lady are a source of inspiration in the perfect display of faithful love shared between them.

No matter who you are or where you are from, you can always find rest in the Sacred Heart of Christ and the immaculate heart of his mother, Mary. This love can transform us, body and soul, into who we were, from the beginning of time, created to be. Pope Benedict XVI taught us that “If we allow the love of Christ to change our heart, then we can change the world. This is the secret of authentic happiness.”

Pope Francis reminds us that love “rejoices seeing others grow … it brings us out of ourselves and creates bonds of sharing and communion.”

I invite you to rediscover the boundless, reckless, inescapable well of God’s love for us through prayer, contemplation and the reception of the sacraments.

May the love of Christ, which conquered the world, transform and ignite our lives.

In Christ’s Love,

Most Rev. Jacques Fabre-Jeune, CS

Bishop of Charleston