Posted October 25, 2010:
It’s Hard to Really Love

by Catherine Doherty.

Love means an interior and spiritual identification with one’s brother or sister, so that the person is not regarded as an "object" to which good is "done." Doing good in that way is of little or no spiritual value to anyone. In fact, it is a tragedy. It destroys the one who gives, and the one who receives.

Love takes on one’s neighbor as one’s self and loves the neighbor with all the immense humility and discretion and reserve and reverence without which no one can presume to enter into the sanctuary of another.

Love should take on one’s neighbor as one’s very self, and love that person with immense humility.

I have often spoken of identification with the poor. It is an identification that only love can achieve, by complete forgetfulness of self and total concern for the other person.

It is an identification so deep, so complete, that it becomes part of oneself, like breathing.

It is a hard way of loving.

Excerpted and adapted from Grace in Every Season, (2001), p. 154, June 2, available from Madonna House Publications


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