Listen to God's voice at the foot of the crucifix." ~St. Gaspar del Bufaro~

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Let's Talk About Love

Neighbors and Friends
I've been thinking about love quite a bit lately.  Not romantic love but the love that God asks us to have for our neighbor.  You know, the Second Greatest Commandment...You shall love your neighbor as yourself?" (Matthew 22:39)
My pondering began with this profound post by Christine, followed by another beautiful post by Anne.
Then I was reminded of many of the incredible ways that Mother Teresa talks about love as we celebrated the 100th Anniversary of her birth.
I've come to realize what a barrier that our judgements (of one another) can be to love.  As Mother Teresa said:  "If you judge people, you have no time to love them."
These were the words from Christine's morning reading:

"But how is this government of the tongue to be practised? The very detailing of the evils will implicitly at least suggest the remedies. Listen to an hour of conversation in any Christian company. How much of it turns, almost of necessity as it would seem, on the actions and character of others! The meaning of judging others appears to be this: the judgment seat of our Divine Lord is as it were already set up on the earth. But it is empty. It is waiting for Him. We, meanwhile, unmannerly and unbidden, keep ascending the steps, enthroning ourselves upon His seat, and anticipating and mimicking His judgment of our brethren. To put it in this way brings home to us the wretchedness of what we are doing. It will also surely assist us in endeavoring to cleanse our conversation of so much unnecessary canvassing of the motives and actions of others. Yet, for the most part we have gone far along our road in devotion and done ourselves many an irreparable mischief, before we bestow half the carefulness on the government of our tongue, which it not only deserves, but imperiously requires."

~ Rev. Frederick William Faber, Growth In Holiness,72.

We stopped to verbalize our admiration of the children in our neighborhood.  The circle of children who   enjoy playing and exploring God's world around us are made up of devout Catholics, Mormans, and Non-Denominational Christians.  On each side of these 3 faiths live 2 Hindu families that live peacefully and lovingly among us.  Personally, I feel blessed.  The children model what Jesus has taught us in Matthew 22.  They show love, friendship and compassion towards one another, without regards to their religion.  No they aren't perfect but the occasional personality conflict affords a great opportunity to talk about Matthew 22.  It serves as a good reminder to us as parents at the same time!

Mrs. G and I have a healthy relationship and mutual love for Our Lord.  Though she is not Catholic, I love her still the same.  She strives to do the work of the Lord and I respect her greatly.  I am grateful that we can discuss our differences, yet agree on seeking and giving the same love that Our Lord is asking of us.  I think this might be a rare blessing...

From the depth of my soul I am secure and blessed by our Catholic faith but also realize that as Christians, we are responsible for our love.  I admire Mother Teresa for her eyes of love.  She didn't look at race or religion when she picked the dying off the street.  She didn't question or judge their lifestyle or the reason why they lay dying.  She saw each person made in the image and likeness of God.  But this is difficult in our world lacking of Mother Teresa's.  Let's face it, this kind of love is hard to come by and live by!  Too often we see weakness in ourselves and others and we are quick to judge.  And there goes love, out the window.

One again, Mother Teresa has wise words: "Sometimes, in the church, there is a struggle when we see one another's weakness.  Unless we have trust, it is impossible to live a pure and holy life.  We must have respect for each other.  We must realize that if God chose me, he chose you, too.   If he trusts me, he trusts you, too."

Though we all know this isn't easy, love is required and our heaven depends on it.

"Be kind and loving with each other, for you cannot love Christ in his distressing disguise if you cannot love Jesus in the heart of your neighbors." 
~Mother Teresa~

I am updating this post to include a beautiful link that Anne recommended to a lovely Christian Woman named Sarah Mae and her Warm Cup of Coffee.  Her recent writing about love was absolutely perfect!  She said the words that I wish I would have said myself...Thank you, Sarah Mae.


  1. "And there goes love out the window" That's such a sad truth. It is so hard to hold on to love for others, but so crucial for the good of all of our souls, definitely something worthy of all of our efforts, but only attainable through the grace of God. In today's world of divisions, it is more necessary than ever that we pray for that grace.

    Tiffany, this is a wonderful post! You are blessed to live in a loving neighborhood where all can get along despite your differences.

    Thanks for the link, I'm humbled!

  2. beautiful. your heart must have filled up so, when you finished that post. you've touched me today. and I'm sure many others. it's such an important lesson we all need to learn (and sometimes re-learn) while we live out our lives.

  3. Lovely, just lovely!!
    You write so beautifully.

  4. Dear Tiffany,
    A wonderful post on true love.
    Thank you for sharing your wisdom

  5. Tiffany, thank you for expanding on the quote and sharing your thoughts. I really needed to read them. I hope that you had a wonderful First Friday and that you have a great weekend.


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