Monday, September 23, 2013

Simply Love Them

"So if we are ever tempted to say about a friend or family member or stranger on the internet "but if I don't tell them the RULES, how will they ever start being GOOD???" I'd like to suggest that they are already good and just don't know it. Help them find their God-given goodness. Help them feel like they are worthy of even striving to be good. Make sure they know that no matter what they do, they cannot ever make God stop loving them."
- Dwija (read full post here)

"I see clearly," the pope continues, "that the thing the church needs most today is the ability to heal wounds and to warm the hearts of the faithful; it needs nearness, proximity. I see the church as a field hospital after battle. It is useless to ask a seriously injured person if he has high cholesterol and about the level of his blood sugars! You have to heal his wounds. Then we can talk about everything else. Heal the wounds, heal the wounds...."
"[T]he proclamation of the saving love of God comes before moral and religious imperatives."
- Pope Francis (read full article here)

And the greatest of these is love.
A new command I give to you, love one another.
Love covers a multitude of sins.
- God (read full Bible here)

I thrive on rules. I want to know exactly what is expected, what is allowed, and where the lines are. I delight in learning the rules, traditions, rubrics, and codified laws of the Catholic Church. So when someone challenges Church teaching, my impulsive response is, "Because we're supposed to!" I'm not one for blind obedience; I know the reasons behind the rules. But because I find such comfort in the particular faith I have held since my childhood, I forget that not everyone likes to hear, "Because I said so."

Not this kid. So I don't say it. (Really!)

In fact, almost no one does. Only one other person comes to mind who likes rules as much as I do.

So I need to hear the message of love over and over. I need LOVE IN ACTION to be in my thoughts, in my words, and in my heart. I need to follow the lead of my Pope. I need the witness of other Christians who are willing to call me out on being overly legalistic. I need to remember that living a life of gentleness and faithfulness is a better witness to the freedom of surrender than being able to cite doctrine.

But if you want to know why we do what we do, I'd love to talk about it. :-)

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