Wednesday, June 11, 2008

What Love Is, and Isn't

Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, (love) 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.
1 Corinthians


It sure seems like there are a lot of blogs that call themselves Catholic these days, and they come in a wide array of flavors, from quietly contemplative journals of prayer, to the jottings of ordinary people trying to live godly lives, to the more journalistic observations of life in and around the institution, and many others too numerous to mention. Then there are the ones that are devoted, it seems, to keeping accounts of the splinters in the eyes of others. They come in all flavors too, from the reactionary right to the reactionary left, from the whiny to the strident, from the self-righteous to the downright mean. Here's a place to find a lot of Catholic blogs of all types. It seems their purpose is to steer the great ship of Christianity in one direction or another, according to how they view the horizon, forgetting that the horizon is actually all around no matter where one is. Some of them want to lighten the ship by throwing all but the most "pure" believers overboard. Others want to weigh it down with passengers and cargo it cannot hold. Some of them even presume to hold forth anonymously, which is to say, without any accountability or community.


We Christians would do well to remember that each of us is but one, limited human being, beloved of God, but not God, without the ability to see the Big Picture. It is God who has made us, and not we ourselves. We are called to love. Keeping accounts of the sins and failings of others, publishing them to the world, gloating over them, seeking not the good but the ruin, embarassment or ridicule of our fellow-believers - no. This is not what we are to be about. This is not love. To paraphrase one of the characters in Charles Williams' novel, War in Heaven, - "I suppose one must have views for convenience' sake, but to think that they matter...!" We do well to remember that we only see through the glass darkly, and refrain from putting ourselves in the place of God.

Today I am grateful for: the spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola; my family and friends; the companionship of cats; access to good dental care; the resources and support to have a balanced life.
Praying this day for: transformation of the darkness and fear that afflict the People of God.

2 comments:

Missy said...

I've just found you and I'm delurking.

What a breath of fresh air!

We are called to love. Keeping accounts of the sins and failings of others, publishing them to the world, gloating over them, seeking not the good but the ruin, embarassment or ridicule of our fellow-believers - no. This is not what we are to be about. This is not love.

Very well said. Thank you so much. This is just what I needed to read today.

Pax.

St Edwards Blog said...

Basically - what Missy said.

I am so grateful for this.