Retreat 1 PM: The Difference God Makes

H/T

“He who loves God loves everybody. He who hates God hates everybody.”
Mother Angelica

The only hate worth fearing is the hate within our own hearts, which can destroy us. The rest? Pfffft!

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • http://salesianity.blogspot.com/ Fr. Steve

    Fr. Barron is a great teacher and has a way of breaking things down. God bless him and his ministry!

  • Kathryn

    Freedom grounded in God’s Love… I love it!

    By the way, you are a poet! The beginning of the retreat today is beautfiful.

    Thanks.

  • Pingback: Wild Wednesday Link-fest and Mini-Retreat « Temple of Mut

  • Manny L.

    “He who loves God loves everybody. He who hates God hates everybody.”
    — Mother Angelica

    I’ve been pondering that for most of the afternoon. I would like to agree, and perhaps in some metaphysical way that is a truism. But as I look inside myself, I can’t quite reach that first half. I certainly love God with all my heart, and I love humanity, my neighbor as a stand in for humanity. I can embrace humanity through love. But i can’t quite say that i love every individual. I can love most people. The face of every person is the face of Christ; the infinity of the permutation of facial features which makes every face distinct reflects the infinity of God, and yet every face is a human face and rooted in Christ. And I feel that and connect with people as such. But there are certain people I can’t extend love to: the child murderer, the rapist, the killer, the people that destroy love themselves. I was mugged once, by three punks who surrounded me, held a weapon toward my face, stuck their hands through my pockets, pilfered a couple of itlems, pushed me aside, and ran off. I wasn’t even harmed. Not a scratch. But I hated them. I felt violated. And I still hate them, even several years later. What if they had done something really to have harmed me? Or to a family member? What about the people that physically do such great harm? Can I love them? I can’t honestly say i do. Perhaps others can, perhaps Mother Angelica can, perhaps saints can. But i’m limited. I’m skeptical that any human can. I think only the sacred heart of Jesus can have such love for every single member of the human race in a specific individual way. God have mercy on me.

    [Remember that St. Therese prayed for a murderer, and he eventually came to believe. And Maria Goretti's murderer (who had attempted to rape her) was present for her canonization. I kind of take "loves everyone" to mean "wishes no evil/negatives upon anyone and prays for them." We talked earlier this week about the need to pray for God's will in each life, and that His will is the salvation of the individual. Loving God, we need to be able to do that. That is loving everyone else, too. Clearly, we are hard pressed, sometimes...but that is a failing of our own -our failure to love- and the only reason we can even recognize that failing in ourselves, and strive to do better, is because we do love God, and do not wish to be separated from him. Yes, Mother Angelica, who made that remark a few years after her stroke, to a sister who had asked for "for a bit of wisdom," managed to pack a pretty potent thought into few words. -admin]

  • Manny L.

    “I kind of take “loves everyone” to mean “wishes no evil/negatives upon anyone and prays for them.” ” -Anchoress

    I kind of take loves to be the same as the love Christ has for us, each speicific individual. Or perhaps looking the corrolary to that, can I love individuals like I love God? Well, I certainly fail there. I can love my family to that extent but even my love for my friends fall short of that. But even to your definition, there are the types of people that I mentioned that I cannot even reach that. If i had the power, those muggers would have been toast. I can only imagine what a rape victum must feel.

  • Manny L.

    “Clearly, we are hard pressed, sometimes…but that is a failing of our own -our failure to love- and the only reason we can even recognize that failing in ourselves, and strive to do better, is because we do love God, and do not wish to be separated from him.” -Anchoress

    Well, this is true. Without love of God, we wouldn’t strive toward the ideal of loving every single person, no matter how much we fall short.

  • Gail F

    Manny L: Loving everyone doesn’t mean loving each individual personally. That is the goal, the ideal, that we should strive for. But that any of us mortals should reach that goal, even for a moment, is doubtful. At least in this life. We are not divine. We partake in Christ’s divinity, and so we know what we should do, what we try to do, what Christ moves us to do. The more like Christ we are, the more we are able to accomplish it. But an impersonal love for others that compels us to work for their good is hard enough for most of us to live out! It is easy to hate, or just to disregard, others. If every Christian were able to love every person individually, it would be a very different world.

    As it is, the goal of loving everyone has itself made it a different world. When I was young and idealistic, I did not see this. I saw only what the world should be, and how far it is from that. But now, knowing more of history and more of what other, non-Christian cultures are like, I see how much of a difference the idea that all men are made in the image and likeness of God has made. (Obligatory CYB statement: I am not saying that non-Christian cultures are uniformly bad and that Christian cultures are uniformly good. All human cultures share to some extent an understanding of God’s law, and live it out to some extent. And Christian cultures certainly fail to live up to their ideals. But the ideals make a difference.)

    If you feel disconsolate over not being able to love people who do evil things, you are either scrupulous or growing in holiness. A good confessor could help you find out which.

    [Maybe it's easier to say, "He who loves God despairs in failing to love everybody; he who hates God doesn't care?" :-) -admin]

  • Manny L.

    “Manny L: Loving everyone doesn’t mean loving each individual personally. That is the goal, the ideal, that we should strive for. But that any of us mortals should reach that goal, even for a moment, is doubtful. At least in this life. We are not divine.” -Gail F

    Yes, I agree. That was exactly my point and the distinction I was trying to make in not agreeing with mother Angelica. That is why Purgatory is absolutely needed. And that is why i pray for God’s mercy. As I stated above, I know (and “know” should be in bold) I can’t reach His goal. And I hope He knows that too, and I’m being facetious there. ;)

    “We partake in Christ’s divinity, and so we know what we should do, what we try to do, what Christ moves us to do. The more like Christ we are, the more we are able to accomplish it. But an impersonal love for others that compels us to work for their good is hard enough for most of us to live out! It is easy to hate, or just to disregard, others. If every Christian were able to love every person individually, it would be a very different world.” -Gail F.

    Completely agree. Nicely said.

    [Maybe it's easier to say, "He who loves God despairs in failing to love everybody; he who hates God doesn't care?" -admin] -Anchoress

    Yes! A similar thought crossed my mind too.

  • jane

    The only hate worth fearing is the hate within our own hearts, which can destroy us. The rest? Pfffft!

    I agree with this thought in theory. And I’ve certainly worked to put it into practice. But hate is a destrctive force. Ask someone who is the target of hate, whose life and loves and options have been all but destroyed by jealousy and hatred, if it is wise to be wary. Fear may be the wrong word, but caution is advised. Self defense is advised. I left it at the feet of the Savior, but I’m sure He would have preferred if I’d taken a more active role in preventing the irreparable harm that was done.

    We must of course be free of hate, but we must also protect ourselves from violence and hate.

  • Deborah Leigh

    If “loves everyone” is ” to mean “wishes no evil/negatives upon anyone and prays for them”, as you proposed to Manny L, then I must disagree. There are those that I wish “negatives upon such as murders, pedophiles, rapists. Perhaps the meaning is loving good people. It is analagous to the old adage of not speaking ill of the dead. If the deceased was a bad or evil person then certainly it is not uncivil to speak the truth about him or her. Nor do I subscribe to loving the person but hating the action, for if a person has acted evilly then they are evil and therefore can not, and should not be loved.

    [I think we're trying to work out what "love" means. And isn't it great that we have an Omnipotent and all-Good father who can love even what we cannot, in ourselves and others? -admin]


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