Blog # 473 Anatomy of Love
Let's consider what might go into a decision to love someone, whether it be God or someone else.
First of all we must know someone if we are to love him or her. We cannot love someone we do not know. This implies in our decision to love, that we be 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
Also part of a decision to love someone is to draw close to that person, share, praise, receive gifts and give gifts, to rejoice in the love, and 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 big question for husbands and wives who wish to grow in their love for one another, then,
should be the question what have we done today to increase our knowledge of one another? How have we praised one another? What have we shared? What have we given?
With God too, for all who wish to love Him and grow in love for Him, we should be asking the 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 man in Minnesota 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 at the top of the virtues and good deeds we might perform.
The solution seems to lie in identifying what 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, 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. Most likely it was a typical week. Look at it honestly. Listen to it. How much love was present? How would you know? Love is a choice. It requires freedom, patience, kindness, lack of rudeness, no self-seeking, no undue anger, trust, hope, the power to endure. How much of this did you see and hear, within yourself and around you? (1Cor. 13: 4-8).
That is how much love there was in your life this past week. Will this week be the same?