Thursday, March 24, 2011

love thursday 03.24.11 ~ love your neighbor as yourself


Love, of course, means something much more than mere sentiment, much more than token favours and perfunctory almsdeeds. Love means an interior and spiritual identification with one's brother, so that he is not regarded as an "object" to "which" one "does good." The fact is that good done to another as to an object is of little or no spiritual value. Love takes one's neighbour as one's other self, and loves him with all the immense humility and discretion and reserve and reverence without which no one can presume to enter into the sanctuary of another's subjectivity. From such love all authoritarian brutality, all exploitation, domineering and condescension must necessarily be absent. The saints of the desert were enemies of every subtle or gross expedient by which "the spiritual man" contrives to bully those he thinks inferior to himself, thus gratifying his own ego. They had renounced everything that savoured of punishment and revenge, however hidden it might be.

Thomas Merton

Loving one's neighbor as oneself--here it is again. If it is about my gain, it is not about my loving you. "...all authoritarian brutality, all exploitation, domineering and condescension must necessarily be absent."

Happy Love Thursday.

2 comments:

Kathryn Grace said...

I wonder if perhaps we need to get to know our neighbor, then; be willing to see them completely, however their views and customs might differ from ours, and love them no matter what we find. This I have not done well. A good teaching. Thank you, Wanda.

Deb Shucka said...

I wonder if this is so hard because most of us have not learned to love ourselves well - which is where love has to start.