"Where there is love, there is no labor; or, if there is labor, the labor is loved."
A mother had twelve children. The youngest was a sad sight - physically and emotionally challenged. When Mother Teresa offered to take the child to her Home for children, the mother of the child begged her not to separate her child from her. "This child is the greatest gift God has given my family. All our love is showered on her. If you take her away from us, our lives would have no more meaning". (Story taken from the book: Mother Teresa, In my own words.)
This story should set us thinking. In some of our homes there could be a child who is a slow learner, autistic, deformed or physically challenged in some way. How do we respond to that child? Fatalistic? This is a cross I must carry? Is there unspoken anguish? Do we see the child as a burden that we are forced to shoulder? Do we secretly wish that the child passes on? Our attitude to the child will speak through our actions - labor that can be loved.
Perhaps, we could also learn from the mother of six, who was asked which of her six children she loved the most. Without hesitation she answered: I love that child most who is in trouble. When he is out of trouble, I love the next child who is in trouble. Her love was a response to the need of the child - not her need. As Saint Augustine puts it again: "The measure of love, is to love without measure."