Roman Catholic Parish


August 25 , 2019

Dear All,

Lest we get all caught up in what LOVE means and what is more or less loving in a particular situation (think of the old chestnut about the woman who has five children and is risking her life and the welfare of those kids by holding on to a difficult and life-threatening pregnancy). In some cases, only the people who have to make the decision should be consulted After all, even the chickens stopped crossing the road because she was tired of having to justify her every decision.

Let take it for granted that LOVE is never about things, not even about life. Neither is it about a quibbling and second-guessing, rules based moral code. LOVE is about the desire to give oneself and to accept the gift of another self. This is certainly what we have seen and pondered in the life of the Holy Trinity.

Saint John says that we came to understand love when we saw Christ giving himself for us. This 'self-giving' Saint Paul describes as emptying himself of all that made him God-like, learning the obedience of slave, even giving up his personal being on a cross, so that we could embrace him without fear of being overwhelmed by his immensity - except for the immensity of his love for us.

This opens up some guidelines on how to live LOVingly.

Love is always about persons; never about things. This sounds like an old-fashioned grammar lesson. But it allows us to see instantly that if we are giving ourselves to something, wealth, prestige, security, even health, to the extent that this giving interferes with making friends, welcoming strangers, pardoning wrong-doers, seeking pardon or whatever, then we have made persons less important than things. This can never be classed as LOVing behavior.

Similarly, it is possible to think of situations where we cannot be certain of how to LOVE two particular people at the same time. This is a real bind. But, hard as it is, we will not let ourselves think that not loving one of them is a good idea. Even better, we will be honest about our own limits and confess that time and other commitments are in the way of a full-blown LOVE. But that will not let us off the hook for a later and fuller LOVE.

Finally, a real desire to Love God first and totally - and to accept his total love of us - will set us free from a whole lot of attachments and dependencies and addictions and fears and resentments that keep us from being willing to love our neighbors. This is the love that Christ shows that we talked about in the third paragraph.

Where does self-love and self-care come in? If I love myself as a LOVer and a beloved, then self-love and self-care will pose neither obstacle nor problem to the love of others.
Next time we'll look at some counterfeit loves and see how they are really problematic.

Really and truly and problematically yours,




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