25 , 2019
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.
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.
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
Next time we'll look at some counterfeit loves and
see how they are really problematic.
and truly and problematically yours,