Wednesday, January 6, 2016

How can we really love as Christians

How do we as Christians be truly Christians or even Legionaries. We do the following:

We must love God with our whole heart and with our whole soul and with our whole mind; and our neighbour as ourself (Mt 22:37-39),

However as the Legion handbook notes:

It has fallen on many ears that are determined to be deaf. It would be evidence of this gravely incorrect point of view to regard the legionary standards as a sort of sanctity, intended for chosen souls only. For these standards are only elementary Christian ones. It is not easy to see how one can descend much below them and at the same time claim to be rendering to our neighbour the active love which is enjoined by the Great Precept, and which is part of the very love of God; so much so, that if it be omitted, the Christian idea is mutilated. “We must be saved together. We must come to God together. What would God say to us if some of us came to Him without the others?” (Péguy)
That love must lavish itself on our fellow-men without distinction, individually and corporately, not as a mere emotion but in the form of duty, service, self-sacrifice. The legionary must be an attractive embodiment of this true  pd201

In summary we must rely on each other, but to do that we need to first love God, then we can love one another.

Today's scripture readings is about love, and what love should be; that we should learn how to love one another and love God.  Its was St. John calls perfect love.

God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him.  In this is love brought to perfection among us,
that we have confidence on the day of judgement
because as he is, so are we in this world.
There is no fear in love,
but perfect love drives out fear
because fear has to do with punishment,
and so one who fears is not yet perfect in love.
1 jn 4:17-18
So love is contrasted with fear (1 Jn 4:18), and the antidote to fear is prayer. Our Lord Jesus Christ teaches us that love increases through a relationship with God. Prayer is a conversation with God, with us doing most of the listening and God doing most of the speaking.
What do we fear of? In this case going to hell out of punishment of not obeying God's commands most likely, at least that is my fear sometimes.  St. John point’s out that we can't focus on fear which then will limit us to just doing things to avoid punishment and then just get by with the minimum. For example, it's like going to school and getting C's and D's just so we can graduate, but if we really care about furthering ourselves for the future and please our parents, then we go for better grades.  Similar is with our relationship with God. 
However, there has to be some fear in order to start loving, just like a child fears there parents out of respect of not doing everything it pleases to avoid punishment.  
Example: Like a child eating all the cookies from the cookie jar knowing that it was told by the parents to not eat cookies without permission otherwise there will punishment; and so the child respects the parents and later on it learns to love by sacrificing itself to not give in on eating the cookies from the jar even knowing it could get away with it.  
There can't be this love where we have no fear of offending others and just think about our needs only and not be considerate to those around close to us, in other words taking advantage of the situation and loving to gratify yourself knowing that person will stand for your "so called" weaknesses" and not hold yourself accountable. 
In so many ways this would be all of us with God. We sin but know he will always love us, and will forgive us no matter what, which is true. However, what if we don't have that moment to ask for forgiveness, the time passes, what then. Well we are not with God no more.

“Take away from love the fullness of self surrender, the completeness of personal commitment, and what remains will be a total denial and negation of it.” 
“Love consists of a commitment which limits one's freedom - it is a giving of the self, and to give oneself means just that: to limit one's freedom on behalf of another.”
John Paul II, Love and Responsibility

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