To Be For: Pondering Love of Neighbor on St. Valentine’s Day

JMJ

What does a person stand for? What defines one? I am certain to be not the only to notice that very few people these days are “for” anything. Most of the self-defining I have been privy to is “what I am against.” people on social media listing as “anti-this” and anti-that.” In this, the thing they purport to hate becomes the very thing that defines them, gives them their identity. If the tragedy in this is not immediately obvious, I do not now, nor have I ever understood, the concept of “obvious.”

We are called to love and love is not against but “for.” Love, as we know, is to will the good of the other. What is the good of the other? The good of the other is not “our” will for them, unless “our will” for them is what God wills for them. Thus, our will must be aligned to God’s most Holy Will. We must love them as God loves them.

I, therefore, am not against anything. I am not against abortion, war, capital punishment,the xenophobic deportation of refugees, etc, instead, I am for life. That is the genius of the term “Pro-Life,” which is inclusive of all the above, that it is for life, not against death. Those who would call a Pro-Life person “anti-choice” must then cede to having themselves defined as “anti-life,” and I think they would argue against that point most passionately. It then follows, I am not opposed to those who advocate abortion, war, capital punishment, xenophobic deportation of refugees, etc. but I am for them opening their minds, opening their hearts, opening their spirit, opening themselves to the loving will of God. They, like me, are sinners with blind spots; misguided certainties; fears; angers; prejudices; selfish, self serving inclinations. We must heal each other and in doing so, mystically, heal ourselves.

I think if we stop being products of our environment and started making the environment the product of a more compassionate, more caring, more gentile, more loving people, these issues would be solved and a great may more. We must never seek to punish others but to free them from the same bonds of sin from which we ourselves hope to be freed.

So to quote St. Paul:

If I speak with the tongues of men, and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And if I should have prophecy and should know all mysteries, and all knowledge, and if I should have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And if I should distribute all my goods to feed the poor, and if I should deliver my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

Charity is patient, is kind: charity envieth not, dealeth not perversely; is not puffed up; Is not ambitious, seeketh not her own, is not provoked to anger, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth with the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

Charity never falleth away: whether prophecies shall be made void, or tongues shall cease, or knowledge shall be destroyed. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child. But, when I became a man, I put away the things of a child. We see now through a glass in a dark manner; but then face to face. Now I know I part; but then I shall know even as I am known. And now there remain faith, hope, and charity, these three: but the greatest of these is charity.

(C) Copyright 14 February 2021

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.