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Loving the Other rather than the Self – A Reflection

April 17, 2020

Here we are… five weeks into the closing of the church building, but NOT the closing of the Church as a Community of Faith! We are exhausted… we are tired… we are called! In such a time as this we are called to be the Body of Christ in new and unusual ways.

Just as Eleven original disciples plus one chosen from their number to continue the call of Jesus to the Twelve… the call to continue the ministry which Jesus has begun, the new age had begun.

To be honest, five weeks in I am seeking the Lord’s guidance, Grace, and strength. I am seeing so many examples of self-protection and self- idolization in the halls of Government in so many states and in DC. It disturbs me… it saddens me… it repulses me.

Thomas Merton speaks to me of such things in his book No Man is an Island. To love myself more than others is to be untrue to myself as well as to them. The more I seek to take advantage of others the less of a person will I myself will be, for the anxiety to possess what I should not have narrows and diminishes my own soul. Therefore the [individual] who loves [herself/himself] too much is incapable of loving anyone effectively, including [himself/herself]. How then can [she/he] to love another?… Charity must teach us that friendship is a holy thing, and that it is neither charitable nor holy to base our friendship on falsehood. (p. 11)

Our citizens and elected leaders all the way to the top must consider everyone in this nation and world. To quote James— Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world. — James 1:27

During these difficult times, may we think beyond ourselves and truly pursue the path of love and justice which God calls us to follow.

  1. hlcgkids permalink

    Almost by definition leaders are put in a position to love themselves rather than others. It is difficult not too. It is a constant challenge not to, but that is what God calls us to do.

  2. pynkoski2 permalink

    This today:
    Often our need for others is not love at all but only the need to be sustained in our illusions, even as we sustain others in theirs. But when we have renounced these illusions, then we can certainly go out to others in true compassion.
    Love and Living, p.23

    • Thank you for sharing that, Paul. Merton sure does peel away the layers of facade which we put up. I also appreciated you sharing the musical gig with your friends. They are delightful!

      • pynkoski2 permalink

        More than anything else, music feeds my spirit. Glad you enjoyed them. They are wonderful people.
        Wednesday, April 22, 1:00 pm our time, Jon Brooks is performing via Facebook. A deeply spiritual songwriter who wrestles with the most difficult of human experiences and plants seeds of hope and compassion. (Used two of his songs in my ITMS workshop last year). I think you can stream his music on Spotify…
        Peace to you and Denise.

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