Blog # 367 Anatomy of Love
Let's consider something of what would go into a decision to love someone, whether it be God or someone else.
First of all we must know someone if are to experience love for that person. We cannot love someone we do not know. This implies in our decision to love that we are open to discover one another, using knowledge. as it were, as a key to our hearts. This is true of our love for God as well as other loves.
If we really want to love God, we must want to know God. If we do nothing to discover God, or nothing to know God better, we can hardly say we have decided to love God or to love God more.
Also part of a decision to love someone is to draw close to that person, share thoughts and desires,, praise one another, receive gifts and give gifts, to rejoice in the love that is shared, to protect it, strengthen it, and help it to grow. Such decisions are not made by accident, nor can they be taken for granted. Again, whether we are speaking of our love for wife, husband, children, friends, enemies, or God this is true.
A good question for husbands and wives who wish to grow in their love for one another, would be the question what have we done today to increase our knowledge of one another? Then
how have we praised one another? What have we shared? What have we given? With God too, for all who wish to love God and grow in their love for God there should be questions. What have I done today to increase my knowledge of God? How have I praised God? When did I rejoice in God's love? Have I made any effort to protect my love for God? What have we shared? What have I given to God and what have I received from God as a sign and expression of our love?
In preparing for this blog today I came across a letter I had filed away back in 1980. It was written by a friend to the editor of a national Catholic newspaper. Here is a portion of it. "Catholics want to hear the word of God preached complete, with the words sin, heaven, hell damnation and salvation mentioned occasionally. Instead all we get in our homilies is 'love, love, and more love', accentuated by the odious kiss of peace which has turned into a love-in in many churches."
You may have heard a similar complaint before or even felt that way yourself. Yet Jesus summed up all the commandments in love. St. John teaches us that God is love. And St Paul certainly and clearly puts love on top of all the virtues and good deeds we might perform.
The solution seems to lie in identifying just what genuine love is, what it entails, and what the consequences of distorting or losing it might be. In the Scriptures, with Jesus John and Paul, to love is to give, and the more we love the more we give. "There is no greater love than this, to lay down one's life for a friend". That is because we would have no more to give.
Take a look at this past week in your life. Likely it was a typical week. Listen to it. How much love was present? How would you know? Love is a choice. It requires freedom. It casts out fear. It is less the best when it shares its motivation with a desire for reward. It requires patience kindness, a lack of rudeness, no self-seeking, no anger, trust, hope, alack of rudeness, no self-seeking, and the power to endure.( 1 Cor 13: 4 - 7. How much of these did you see and hear within yourself and around you? That it how much love there was in your life this past week. Will this week be the same?
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"Holiness is not the privilege or luxury of a few. It is everyone' duty, yours and mine.
Holiness does not consist in doing extraordinary things. It consists in accepting what God sends us. It consists in accepting the will of God. In order to be saints, we have to seriously want to be one."
St. Teresa of Calcutta