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Love and Self-Giving

“Christians believe that God is love. The Trinity defines love: the love of the Father for the Son, and the Son for the Father, of the Father for the Spirit, of the Son for the Spirit, and of the Spirit for the Father and the Son. It is, finally, a love which is so great that it went out of itself. This is why God created and sustains all that exists. Here we see that love is not a feeling or emotion, as many people think. Rather, love is a permanent relationship of self-giving and eternal mercy and compassion. Jesus Christ is the revelation to humanity of that permanent love, in which the Son lives in the Father, and the Father in the Son, and the Spirit in the Father and the Son. This kind of love is beyond our understanding. It is not rational. We cannot argue about it or prove it. However, we can experience it, and this experience changes lives and brings us into loving relationship with everything that exists, because God loves all things and is at work in all that exists.” (Fr. Brendan Pelphrey)

“What does it mean to take up one’s cross? If the Cross of Christ represents His self-sacrifice for humankind, perhaps, our cross is our self-sacrifice for the good of others. If on the Cross Christ offered Himself for the world, perhaps taking up our cross means offering our lives to others. With this in mind, we recall that Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (OSB John 15:12). Thus, self-giving is the essence of love. If this is true, then all who follow the Lord are to be priests. They are called to offer themselves for the blessing of others.” (Fr. Basil)

“Outward piety – acts done out of habit or conformity – loads “men with burdens hard to bear” (Lk 11:46). Slavish attention to our behavior separates us from the stirrings of the Holy Spirit. Our pious actions must be connected to God’s self-giving love, and above all to sharing His love with others in true joy, thankfulness, and delight.” (Dynamis 11/4/2020)

“Personal contact with God’s people always is a challenge...We have to maintain love for others…Personal relationships require considering others' needs, problems, moods, and life-concerns. In order to love, we are forced to step outside ourselves, consider the life-circumstances of others, and deliberately choose kind and thoughtful ways we may tender service to them. Personal movement from self to other is a commitment to loving “in Christ.” It demands struggle to move toward the Lord’s standard of self-giving, in hope of refreshing others in their hearts, recognizing that it may entail death to our own needs and desires.” (Dynamis 9/1/2012)

“There is too much emphasis today on what we think and feel. What matters is what we do. The essence of love is self-giving, giving of ourself to meet another person’s need. Many times circumstance presents itself to us to do this when we don’t feel like it, especially from family members and friends. We may be exhausted, want to relax, be by ourselves, and not be bothered with anything or anyone. There are certainly times we need to take care of ourselves and get proper rest. Christ did that Himself and encouraged His disciples to do the same but it was to be better prepared to love and serve others. The beautiful thing about self-giving is that it is also self-fulfillment, in the healthy and holy sense, because that is actually how we are made to be.” (Sacramental Living Ministries)

#FrBrendanPelphrey #FrBasil #Dynamis #SacramentalLivingMinistries

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