LoveJune 20, 2012 No Comments
June 20, 2012 / MariaNews.com
By Deacon Antonio Sandoval
When I was in High School our parish Church decided to close its library. The books were sold for practically nothing. I had twenty cents and bought two small books from a twelve volume set entitled, “Four Minute Essays” by Dr. Frank Crane published in 1919. One of the books had an essay on Love that described love as “the flame of the candle of sacrifice”. In order to produce light and warmth a candle must sacrifice itself. I really liked this image of love. We are all like candles. To be the light of the world and warm hearts that are cold beginning with our own, we must love with sacrificial love.
Another one of the essays by Dr. Frank Crane said, “Look around at the people you know and you will find that the only ones who are truly happy are those who serve and those who love much”. The universal desire of every human being is to be happy. When we try to find happiness in possessions, pleasures, popularity, or positions of power, we encounter frustration because true and lasting happiness is found only in loving and serving God and others.
The Ten Commandments have been called “the blueprint for happiness.”(I would add that they are also “the blueprint for freedom” because freedom is not the self-given license to do whatever I want to do. Doing what God wants me to do is what gives me true freedom.) We find happiness by freely choosing to love God and neighbor according to the Commandments. In Old Testament times the love of God was described in Deuteronomy 6:4-5 where we read: “Hear, O Israel, The Lord our God is one Lord. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your strength.” The Israelites were made to understand that they loved God by obeying His Commandments. Moses admonished them, “These commandments that I give to you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door posts of your house and your gates” (Dt. 6:6-9). Loving neighbor was described in the Book of Leviticus 19: 18, where we read, “Love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord”. However, the Israelites considered only their countrymen as neighbors.
Now Jesus said that He didn’t come to abolish the law and the Prophets, but to fulfill them. In other words, he came to perfect them. In this regard Jesus did two things; he redefined who a neighbor is, not just a countryman, but anyone in need, and He united the commandment to love God with the commandment to love neighbor. One cannot love God unless one also loves neighbor. Jesus also raised the standard of love for neighbor to a more perfect level when He said, “Love one another as I have loved you.” Now the love of neighbor is not measured by self-love, but by the love of Jesus for us.
Love is the center piece of our faith and the key that unlocks the door to true and lasting happiness.
Read more by Deacon Antonio here: http://marianews.com/wordpress/category/readersblog/deacon-antonio/
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