I believe that many people sin trying to get love. The woman who walks around the streets and goes to church in tight pants is trying to use her sexual body to attract men so that they can somehow love her. People spend hours and hours on Facebook trying to be loved by those “out there” in cyber space called “friends”. Women and men post themselves naked on the internet to be liked and hopefully someone will get involved with them to give them attention (love).
Then there is the sin of self love. I am going to indulge because I deserve it. I am going to go ahead and splurge because I want it. I will go ahead and get any kind of pleasure I can; sexual, drugs, alcohol, sleeping in, music, chocolate, movies, jewelry, money and material things to please myself.
I may even love others, but usually it is conditional and asking for love in return. Everyone going around asking to be loved. And everyone promising to love forever till the first fight comes or someone else comes around.
Love is a wonderful sentiment and emotion we all enjoy and need. But when the emotions change or someone does something mean to me, my love is gone.
When it come to christian Charity, that is a virtue, not an emotion. Charity means doing kind loving deeds for others for no reason and without necessarily feelings. I do it because Jesus has asked me to be kind and loving. I will (decide) to have charity and I will not let it be dependent on my feelings. I have charity for others because it is the right thing to do and not because I feel like doing it.
The one thing that separates all christians from other religions is Jesus command to love our enemy. Do you think we feel like loving our enemy? Absolutely not. But we will to love our enemy because Jesus says it is the right thing to do.
Most of your priests, religious and parents reading this know exactly the difference between love and charity. We priests do not love to get up in the middle of the night to go to the hospital to give Extreme Unction. We do not love to hear hours and hours of confessions. But we do it because we know it is the charitable thing to do.
You parents do not feel like staying up all night with a sick child or working at a terrible job. But you do it because you have charity for your family.
I want to suggest you print up St. Paul’s letter 1Corinthians 13: 1-13 and read it every morning during Lent. Then try to put it in practice all day long for the 40 days of Lent, especially with your spouse and family.
“If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And if I should have prophecy and should know all mysteries, and all knowledge, and if I should have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And if I should distribute all my goods to feed the poor, and if I should deliver my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
Charity is patient, is kind, charity envieth not, dealleth not perversely; is not puffed up. Is not ambitious, seeketh not her own, is not provoked to anger, thinketh no evil: Rejoices not in iniquity, but rejoiceth with the truth;
Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never falleth away: whether prophecies shall be made void, or tongues shall cease, or knowledge shall be destroyed.For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, that which is in part shall be done away.
When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child. But when I became a man, I put away the things of a child. We see now through a glass in a dark manner, but then face to face. Now I know in part; but then I shall know even as I am known. And now there remaith faith, hope, and charity, these three: but the greatest of these is charity.”
The original author of this blog passed away in July of 2016. RIP Father Carota.