If you are looking for my blog titled, The Contemplative Catholic Convert, you are at the right spot.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Something Far More Pure

But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you . . . (Matthew 5:44)

If we fall for Hollywood's version of love, we'll think love is something you do in bed with whoever happens to be available at the moment. But, like most things coming out of popular culture, that version is a crass corruption of truth.

Love is something far more pure.

St. Paul's definition of love is the best we'll ever find. He tells us love is patient and kind. It's not envious or boastful, proud or rude, self-seeking or easily angered. It doesn't keep a record of wrongs, doesn't delight in evil, but rejoices with truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails (see 1 Corinthians 13).

By that definition, it's hard enough to love those who love us. But the Lord ratchets it up a few notches when He says: "Love your enemies."

That commandment couldn't run more counter to our human nature. We usually prefer to get even. Maybe even more than even. But that's not what Christ wants for us. He set the bar at, "Father, forgive them, for they don't know what they are doing."

So, how can we actually live to that standard? Scripture tells us often enough. The answer lies in becoming increasingly submitted to Christ.

Sunday-Christianity is not enough. It never will be.

Through faith in His atonement, God makes us new creations (2 Corinthians 5:17). Christ now lives in us (Galatians 2:20). We increase our obedience to Christ -- to the point of being able to love even our enemies -- as we participate with integrity in the Sacraments, and daily join our hearts to Him through prayer and Scripture study -- permitting the Holy Spirit an ever increasing freedom to live - and love -- through us.

That kind of Christianity moves mountains -- and changes cultures.

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