loving others

LOVE AND EVER MORE LOVE is the only solution to every problem that comes up. If we love each other enough, we will bear with each other’s faults and burdens. If we love enough, we are going to light that fire in the hearts of others. And it is love that will burn out the sins and hatreds that sadden us. It is love that will make us want to do great things for each other. No sacrifice and no suffering will then seem too much.

Day, Dorothy. The Reckless Way of Love: Notes on Following Jesus (Plough Spiritual Guides: Backpack Classics) (p. 22). Plough Publishing House. Kindle Edition.

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In the same way that we cannot give up on Truth (because Jesus never did), we cannot give up on Love. Jesus took Truth and Love to the cross extravagantly, recklessly, scandalously, and he held them tight until he took his last breath. He calls us to follow him there.

Lord, have mercy on us.

dw

Copyright © 2020, becomingflame.com

Our lifelong fight as a Christian is to get off the natural level and on the supernatural. Our lives must be a pure act of love, repeated many times over.

Day, Dorothy. The Reckless Way of Love: Notes on Following Jesus (Plough Spiritual Guides: Backpack Classics) (p. 58). Plough Publishing House. Kindle Edition.

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Before we dismiss,
yes, dismiss,
Dorothy Day altogether,
along with Mother Teresa,
and Francis of Assisi,
and the Father
and the Son
and the Holy Spirit
for being unrealistic,
idealistic,
hearts-on-sleeves-heads-in-clouds,
big talkers
of inconvenient truths that,
if we don’t immediately,
knee-jerkedly,
dismiss,
we might feel just a tidge
of something we don’t like
about ourselves,
something like guilt, maybe,
for how cold
and self-serving
and small
we really are;

before we do that,
could we allow that tidge
of living feeling
bring to life
within our cold, small selves,
something, maybe, like
awareness
and acceptance
of who we are
and what our lives are like
apart from the love,
the kind of love,
these talkers talk about.

dw

Copyright © 2020, becomingflame.com

We have the greatest weapons in the world, greater than any hydrogen or atom bomb, and they are the weapons of poverty and prayer, fasting and alms, the reckless spending of ourselves in God’s service and for his poor. Without poverty we will not have learned love, and love, at the end, is the measure by which we shall be judged.

Day, Dorothy. The Reckless Way of Love: Notes on Following Jesus (Plough Spiritual Guides: Backpack Classics) (p. 63). Plough Publishing House. Kindle Edition.

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More powerful than power itself is the choice to set it aside.

Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place; for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. 53 Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But how then would the scriptures be fulfilled, which say it must happen in this way?”

Harper Bibles. NRSV Bible with the Apocrypha (Kindle Locations 76005-76007). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.

dw

Copyright © 2019, becomingflame.com

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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