08 March 2013

The Four First Things of Love

NB. Deacon John is preaching this morning.  Here's the conclusion of a Roman homily for the 30th Sunday OT (Oct 2008). The whole thing is titled, Reaching Down for Higher Things.

To love well we must first come to know and give thanks to Love Himself. He loved us first, so He must be our First Love. 

Second, we must hold as inviolable the truth that we cannot love Love Himself if we fail to love one another. 

Third, love must be the first filter through which we see, hear, think, feel, speak, and act. No other philosophy or ideology comes before Love Himself. This means obeying (listening to and complying with) His commandments and doing now all the things that Christ did then. 

Fourth, after placing God as our first filter, we must surrender to Love’s providential care, meaning we must sacrifice (make holy by giving over) our prideful need to control, direct, order our lives according to the world’s priorities. Wealth and power do not mark success. Celebrity does not mark prestige. “Having everything my way” does not mark freedom.

Last, we must grow in holiness by becoming Christ—frequent attention to the sacraments, private prayer and fasting, lectio divina, strengthening our hearts with charitable works, sharpening our minds with beauty and truth in art, music, poetry, and while being painfully, painfully aware of how far we can fall from the perfection of Christ, knowing that we are absolutely free to try again and again and again. . .

Though we often fail love, Love never fails us. Remember: who needs for love to never fail more than he for whom Love is God?

Question: Do you think that this piece on the "first four things of love" could be expanded into a short book? 

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  1. Anonymous9:35 AM

    Yes to the short book!

  2. Even better if it's all five. Some great parallels with the Lord's five wounds are readily apparent.

  3. Trying again - technical difficulties today!

    Short answer: Yes!

    Long answer: I think something like this would be appreciated and is needed. I presented a short talk on "love" to the small adult faith formation group here and got great comments, good questions, looks of surprise and understanding. I think people desire to know of this Love, and to realize it is not the love of which we usually think. What you propose above would be both practical and intellectual/philosophical, and would fill the need of both understanding and doing. I know I would buy it, because the more good reminders I can get on this topic, which I fail at so often, the better!

    Of course, the obvious question is if you have enough to fill a small book, but I am assuming you do and therefore say: Go for it!

  4. It certainly could...beautiful excerpt from a homily that was posted on my birthday.