Love Never Fails is a beautifully written book divided into bite-sized chunks. But the wisdom and knowledge contained therein is nothing short of brilliant. Each short two- to three-page chapter offers Bishop Donald Hying’s inspiring words of advice and concrete ways to live them out.
In fact, in order to best savor every word, I recommend that you read this book in weekly installments throughout the course of a year. Conveniently, the book has 53 sections, so you can read one section each week and double up during whichever week you have a little extra time. By doing so, you have the opportunity to reflect on his words the entire week and incorporate them into your daily life. What a great way to make a change in your world!
Chapters cover topics such as setting the world on fire for Christ, marriage, the faith of the young, handing our lives over to God, mercy, and so much more. In addition, the book includes chapters related to each of the liturgical seasons, so if you read one chapter a week, you can easily match up the readings to the seasons.
One of my favorite chapters includes the bishop’s discussion of kairos moments—those “transcendent experiences that lift us beyond and out of ourselves and we lose track of time altogether.” He explains that God lives in that kairos time—the “eternal moment of now”—and encourages us all to sit quietly and appreciate the here and now so that we can return our focus to God.
In another section, Bishop Hying speaks of evangelization. He urges us to pray daily, receive the sacraments regularly, understand the faith, serve the poor, and draw others to Christ. He posits: “Imagine if every one of us brought one other person to the practice of the faith, by loving them and cultivating the movement of the Spirit.” Imagine!
Hying also speaks of building a Catholic culture, especially for and with our children. This can be hard to do. But as he warns: “So many forces in our culture want us to fall asleep, to stay numb and drugged, to disengage from life, and to sit passively on the sidelines, playing our video games and staying in front of the computer for hours on end.”
When we sit passively or do nothing, we allow the devil’s reach to spread wider.
Further, he reminds us of St. John Paul II’s words to young people at a World Youth Day: “We didn’t come into this world to ‘vegetate,’ to take it easy, to make our lives a comfortable sofa to fall asleep on. No, we came for another reason: to make a mark.”
We live in a dark world where we must be the light of Christ if ever we want to effect change. When we follow the bishop’s words of encouragement, we will become the light of Christ here on earth. Only then will we make that mark St. John Paul II spoke of so eloquently.
Love Never Fails: Living the Catholic Faith in Our Daily Lives by Bishop Donald Hying; Ignatius Press 2021; 175 pages; $16.95 (Paperback)