What It Is to Truly Love

Long time no write. Well, guess who? Yep, me again. Same old sinner just another day who is late to posting this ramble…

AsI bask in the warmth of sunshine and welcome warmer temps, despite how awful I feel emotionally, these little natural reminders from God give me hope with His grace and my compliance this will be a steppingstone of growth and detachment to seek His will rather than my own.

I have been asking myself the following: why do I do the things I know I should not do? Well, I have learned something about myself in the process. For whatever reason when knowledge travels from the head to the heart it hurts something fierce. The readings from this Sunday and today were the bash over the head I did not want but sure needed.

 

1 Cor. 12

Brothers and sisters,
If I speak in human and angelic tongues,
but do not have love,
I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal.
And if I have the gift of prophecy,
and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge;
if I have all faith so as to move mountains,
but do not have love, I am nothing.
If I give away everything I own,
and if I hand my body over so that I may boast,
but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind.
It is not jealous, it is not pompous,
It is not inflated, it is not rude,
it does not seek its own interests,
it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury,
it does not rejoice over wrongdoing
but rejoices with the truth.
It bears all things, believes all things,
hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails.
If there are prophecies, they will be brought to nothing;
if tongues, they will cease;
if knowledge, it will be brought to nothing.
For we know partially and we prophesy partially,
but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.
When I was a child, I used to talk as a child,
think as a child, reason as a child;
when I became a man, I put aside childish things.
At present we see indistinctly, as in a mirror,
but then face to face.
At present I know partially;
then I shall know fully, as I am fully known.
So faith, hope, love remain, these three;
but the greatest of these is love.

 

During a retreat I remember doing an activity where we replaced our name in for “love.” I tried this exercise this weekend and certainly come up short because I have a long way to go to cultivate the qualities of love, but it is something I strive for each day. I strive and fail and maybe sometimes succeed at displaying love in my friendships, relationships with coworkers, interactions with family and encounters with strangers, but something deeper settled into my soul with a resounding thud when I read the above reading for Sunday’s Mass in my parish bulletin.

My Catholic faith is most important in my life, and I do not try to live it out because of some fear of hellish retribution, but rather it is my source of peace and strength; however, I often lose sight of this truth and try to do things my way rather than listening to wisdom and intuition. The following words of Bishop Barron rang clear to me, and this tore my heart in two because I know I have epically failed.

 

“To love is to will the good of the other as other. It is to break out of the black hole of one’s own self-regard and truly desire what is best for another. Therefore, to be sure, love is inclusive in the measure that it recognizes the essential dignity of each individual; love is tolerant, inasmuch as it respects the goodness of even those who hold errant points of view.”

 

Love is not giving or saying to another what is wanted, but it is unclenching my fists to let go of what I am holding onto and accepting I am not God. Some may say love does not hurt, but I offer another point of view. Love does hurt because it wants what is best for another even if it is uncomfortable.

 

“What is the mark of love for your neighbor? Not to seek what is for your own benefit, but what is for the benefit of the one loved, both in body and in soul.”
St. Basil the Great

 

I was reminded today the most difficult thing is to forgive myself for my shortcomings, and since God has forgiven me I need to extend forgiveness to myself which sure is not easy. I pray every day with my setbacks and successes I keep on learning, changing and always thank God for opening my heart and mind to what it means to truly love as He does.

 

“You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” C.S. Lewis

 

Until next time,

Anjelina

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