loving others

To love someone is not first of all to do things for them, but to reveal to them their beauty and value, to say to them through our attitude: “You are beautiful. You are important. I trust you. You can trust yourself.” We all know well that we can do things for others and in the process crush them, making them feel that they are incapable of doing things by themselves. To love someone is to reveal to them their capacities for life, the light that is shining in them.

Vanier, Jean. From Brokenness to Community (p. 16). PAULIST PRESS New York and Mahwah, N.J.. Kindle Edition.

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I’m speechless
because I’m guilty,
swallowing hard at the extent of my collusion
with the deceiver within me,
the extent of my obstruction of the justice due you
to be the one who sees my desperate need,
who rescues me from my delusion
that you are the one who needs rescuing,
not me.

dw

 

I’m deeply challenged by Vanier’s perspective, both in the quote above and in this video.

It makes one unhappy to judge people and happy to love them.

Day, Dorothy. The Reckless Way of Love: Notes on Following Jesus (Plough Spiritual Guides: Backpack Classics) (pp. 72-73). Plough Publishing House. Kindle Edition.

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I know there is an Accuser
(poor Job didn’t know)
its voice constantly in my ear
always outraged
(thought God was his adversary)
assuming the worst
about everyone and everything
(when God was so proud)
pronouncing judgement
endlessly, monotonously
(of his servant and friend)
until I remember
I’m asked to love, not judge
(that, after accepting his apology)
and my brow relaxes
and the unhappy knot in my head loosens
(that he gave him a tour of the great acts of creation)
and I find myself loving instead of judging,
happy, almost
(culminating in Leviathan sporting on God’s leash)
as my dog,
who loves me without judging me.

dw

Copyright © 2019, becomingflame.com

 

It is clear, then, that to love others well we must first love the truth.

The truth we must love in loving our brothers is the concrete destiny and sanctity that are willed for them by the love of God.

The truth I must love in my brother is God Himself, living in him. I must seek the love of the Spirit of God breathing in him.

— Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island

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