June 1, 2012

Letters to the Editor

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What are the things that you love in life?

When the will of God and our hearts desire are at odds, life becomes a wrestling match with God. There is much in life that is opposed to our “own peace,” and also opposed to the “will of God.”

I believe that love is a direction and not a state of the soul. We hold to the direction rather than the feeling of love.

True love is independent of the feeling. If I abide in love, I come to new feeling, and if I do not abide in love, I lose even the feeling I have.

St. Thomas Aquinas said, “To love is to will the good of another.”

Love is a sustained choice and not founded in the emotions. Love’s direction guards us not against grief, but against a darkening of the heart. Love, by its very nature, makes us vulnerable to grief.

When we love someone or something, when we dare to care, we are exposed to sorrow. We can come to grief that we would never feel if we did not love, if we did not dare to care.

But if we abide in love, even in our grief and suffering, we can learn the wisdom that comes of suffering instead of surrendering to the darkness that can also come upon the heart.

We cannot love without death. We cannot have death without love. Those who will not die cannot get through loneliness, and those who will not love cannot get through death. Living is a series of daily deaths of the “false self.” That “self” is created in our own image, rather than the image of God.

St. John of the Cross said, “At the end of life, we shall be judged by love.”

Meister Eckhart said, “Love is of such a nature that it changes us into the things we love.”

Love is changing us over time into the things we love, and this begs the question, “What are the things that I love?”

- Kirth N. Roach | Order of Carmelite Discalced Secular, Indianapolis

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