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Seeking Love


It’s effortless for me to have a conversation with someone who shares all of my values. But how do I respond when someone says something offensive? Am I still able to see God in them or do my judgements get in the way? In Luke’s gospel we are encouraged to love especially when it is difficult because “if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them” (Luke 6:32). A few verses later we are told to “(...) love [our] enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” (Luke 6:35-36) As human beings, we are all broken, flawed, imperfect and in need of a Strength much greater than ours. So I’d like to expand the quote by Bill Bennot to include everyone with whom it is more challenging to interact. In the moments where love isn’t easy, how do we behave? For instance, if a child accidentally makes a mess in the spot that we just cleaned, how will we respond? If our significant other forgets something that is important to us, do we automatically lash out? If someone is living a lifestyle that goes against our values, will we still respect them? None of this means that we accept unacceptable behavior. In other words, we will love one person in a different capacity than we love another. Regardless, when we are able to accept that there are differences and seek to look at our brothers and sisters for who they are and not for what we’ve judged them to be, we are seeking love. So, whether we are with people who are easier to relate to or those who are not, we are called to love. I don’t agree that an interaction with one person is more “important” than the interaction we have with another, and I don't think that this is what Bill was getting at. Nonetheless, the message in the quote is strong: love, even when it is difficult. As we just saw, the bible goes further and tells us to love, especially when it is hard. Putting this expectation on ourselves will only cause frustration. It is through Christ that we will be able to authentically love, rather than judge. We need His love to flow through us and spill out into the lives of others. We need His healing power to wash over our wounds so that we can forgive and chose love instead. It is Him who will chisel away at our imperfections and make us more able to love those around us. Through His strength, we will see past the imperfections of ourselves and of others and place love where it hadn’t been before.

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