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Love (and to be Loved)

“If there is one resilient and God given aspect of us that has remained intact throughout history and time, it is our innate desire to love and be loved. At our core we want to belong. We want to be loved and needed. Safety has also always been important for us. We like to feel safe. No matter how ugly or disturbing the world becomes, no matter who we are, this innate yearning for love and safety holds true. Perhaps the real tragedy is when this innate urge and desire becomes buried under layers of hurt, alienation, anger, and fear. When this occurs, the one who just wanted to be loved like everyone else, can become the stereotypical difficult person. We then suffer hurt, stress, and alienation from our encounters with them. In the end, we lose the perspective that this difficult person is just someone who wanted to love and be loved, but sadly fell victim to a fallen world. Somewhere in their life, something went terribly awry. There is always a story to every human soul.” (Fr. Joshua Makoul)

“We’re not born guilty for our parent’s sin, but eventually their broken lives, and the lives of others around us, affect us in ways that lead to our own fragmentation. Each of us was created to be loved perfectly and completely, but no matter how sincerely our parents try, our experience of love is always incomplete. They can never love us with all of the love we were intended to receive, the love of God. This is the reality of life outside the Garden.” (Kevin Scherer)

“Sometimes, during conversations, we sense anger or other undesired emotions in the tone of our loved ones, but this anger could be nothing more than an emotional expression of the deep discomfort from our current situation, a desire to be loved more…Our inordinate need to be loved can often make the image we have of ourselves quite brittle, leading us to overreact.” (Fr. Bassam Nassif, Robert J. Wicks)

“Deep down, I desire to be loved. But since I cannot believe this is possible, what I can and do experience instead is being needed and/ or being wanted. But St. Porphyrios warns us about seeking to be loved. Rather, he says, we should love others, and it is up to them whether they love us. Sometimes I may love another only because I want them to love me back, but this is not the Christlike love the saint speaks of. Or I may imagine that I love another when I am actually just feeling some of the intensity of the love they are directing at me.” (Andrew Williams)

“Love, in its purest form is a ‘one way street’ in a sense, meaning that when we express love it should not be motivated by the expectation of receiving love. This does not mean that we don’t want to receive love when we express it. Of course we do. We need love from others to literally survive. Rather, it means that if our love is in any way diminished because our expectation is not met, it shows us that our love is imperfect. It also doesn’t mean that we may not be hurt, or even hurt deeply; it just means our love should not grow less. It’s a high standard Christ sets for us but He does so because we are actually made for it. If we do feel our love diminish due to our hurt, we should not beat ourselves up because we can’t love perfectly as He loves. What we should do is bring this to prayer in humble acknowledgement of our weakness and ask Him for the grace to become more loving.” (Sacramental Living Ministries)


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