Imagine that you receive a letter from the reserve bank saying that in one year they will open the doors of their gold reserve and allow you to take whatever you can carry. What will you do if you have only one year to prepare for this opportunity?

The idea might seem very exciting, but the reality is that gold is very heavy. You can only use your bare hands to carry the Gold, so the natural response would be to take out a membership at your nearest gym and start doing some serious weight training. The stronger you are, the more you can carry and the wealthier you will be.

As nice as it might sound, it is pure fantasy. However we face a similar decision every day with our faith. We are offered free access to the grace and love of God. We can take as much as we want, if only we would have the desire, or a heart big enough to hold the gift.

St Therese of Lisieux suggests that in heaven everyone is completely filled with the love of God, but that everyone’s vessel for holding this grace is a different size. Some have brought to God a large bucket, while others only bring to him a small thimble. Our job in this life is to stretch the capacity of our heart so that we can be filled with more love and grace.

St Augustine says that our desire for God stretches the capacity of our heart in the same way that you would stretch a sack or bag so that it can hold more. Every moment when you choose to love, you are stretching your capacity for love. The more we yearn for God, the more we stretch our capacity to contain the love of God and the grace of God.