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A Choice to Love

Sometimes there doesn’t seem to be a lot of love in the world.  Sad considering that Jesus told us that the greatest commandment is to love God and the second is to love our neighbor. 

I believe we have an infinite capacity to love but in our humanness other emotions or misdirected love keep us from truly loving as Christ calls us to love.  For instance, our society places a great emphasis on material goods.  God has created the world so all of creation is good.  But when “things” become the focus of our lives, when having “things” becomes what is most important to us, then our love has become misdirected.  Then, our love of “things” takes away from our ability to love God and our neighbor.  This misdirected love can take shape as greed.

Anger is a powerful emotion that keeps us from love.  How can we love if our heart is full of anger?  When anger first arises in our hearts it may seem justified because someone has done something to hurt us or to take something that belongs to us.  In such cases anger may seem like a natural reaction.  What would Jesus do in such a situation?  He would forgive.  He would let go of the anger.  Then he would love.  It isn’t easy but it is what Jesus would do.  Isn’t it what Jesus does for each of us when we sin?

We are meant to love but there is something that we can think is love but isn’t.  It’s called lust.  We are meant to love one another and there is a special love meant to be from the beginning between a man and a woman as husband and wife.  This love may begin with physical attraction but it grows beyond that.  If the attraction is only physical and leads to impure thoughts it becomes lust and lust gets in the way of our ability to love.

Do you choose to love?  It isn’t easy.  Forgiveness is difficult.  How do we know when we have become too focused on material things?  Do we hold anger in our hearts? Do we love the person we see or is it lust?  Always choose the way of love.

Peace,

Fr. Jeff

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