Learning to Love

The Bible tells us over and over again that love is the key to living a Christian life.  The apostle John tells us:

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”  1 John 4:8

Peter says:

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins”  1 Peter 4:8

In his letter to the Corinthians Paul warns:

“If I have all prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.”  1 Corinthians 13:2

We are called, in strong words, to love others, not only those who are agreeable or those who love us, but even our enemies;  even those who persecute us. (Luke 6:27).  It is the mark of being a Christian (1 Peter 1:22).  So why aren’t we doing it?  Why aren’t we at least trying to do it?  Love should be the goal of the process of sanctification.  Here’s how Francis Paget, an English theologian puts it:

“This is the great business and meaning of our life on earth:  that we should more and more yield up our hearts to God’s great grace of love;  that we should let it enter ever more fully and freely into us, so that it may even fill our whole heart and life.  We must day by day be driving back, in His strength, that sin that doth so easily beset us, and the selfishness that sin has fastened in our hearts;  and then His love will day by day increase in us.  Prayer will win and keep it;  work will strengthen and exercise it;  the Bible will teach us how to know and prize it, how to praise God for it;  the Holy Eucharist will ever renew and quicken its power in our hearts.  And so (blessed be God!) love and joy and peace will grow in us, beyond all that we can ask or think;  and He will forgive us for love’s sake, all the failures, all the faults in whatever work He has given us to do;  and will bring us at last into the fulness of that life which even here He has suffered us to know;  into that one Eternal Home, where love is perfect, and unwearied and unending;  and where nothing ever can part us from one another or from Him.”

Pray, read the Bible, receive the sacraments.  Learn to love.

For more posts on love see:

Little Children, Love One Another

Charity = Love

All the Loves