“You learn to speak by speaking, to study by studying, to run by running, to work by working, and just so, you learn to love by loving. All those who think to learn in any other way deceive themselves.” ~ St. Francis de Sales
Lent is a very holy season. It is a season that calls us to set aside the things that keep us from God and to embrace new ways of communicating with Him. We can only do so if we are willing to immerse ourselves fully into the mystery of the season.
That, of course, implies action on our part. We often choose to avoid some of our simple pleasures such as coffee, candy, and other items. We also choose to do some good works throughout the season that may include visiting the sick, calling someone we may have lost touch with and the like.
As I said, these are all actions. St. Francis de Sales hit the nail on the head when he said that action is the only way to get things done. We learn to love by loving. How is that accomplished? Mother Teresa of Calcutta would tell us quite simply that it is accomplished one person at a time.
When we choose to love we have to ask ourselves the question, “Whom have I been choosing not to love?” The answer might alarm us. We may not have been loving our spouse as we should. Perhaps we have been ignoring him or her. Perhaps we have been putting our own thoughts and feelings before the thoughts and feelings of our spouse.
We might be choosing not to love our children, our siblings, our coworkers, and a myriad of others simply by putting ourselves — our feelings, wants, and desires — first. If we put ourselves before others, we cannot love.
That is a dangerous state for us. If we are choosing not to love we will quickly cut the Lord out of our lives as well. He cannot be important to us if we have chosen to be more important than others.
Should we not love ourselves? No. I’m not saying that. What I am saying is that our love for self should not be our only goal. We should love ourselves so that we will be in a better position to love others. That kind of love is not selfish. Instead, it prepares us to love others just as we love ourselves.
Okay. We’ve read about it. We’ve talked about it. Now, let’s get out there and actually do it. The world is waiting for love. Let’s be the ones to give it.
FAITH ACTION: Show all with whom you come into contact today that you love them with the love that comes from Jesus Christ.