Friday, June 24, 2011

Love and Destiny

Merton writes in No Man Is an Island 1.6 (7–8):
Charity makes me seek far more than the satisfaction of my own desires, even though they may be aimed at another's good. It must also make me an instrument of God's providence in their lives. ... My will must be the instrument of God's will in helping them create their destiny. ... My love must be for them the minister not of my own spirit but of the Holy Spirit.

Such a conception of charity is, above all, proper to a priest.

This is a really good point, one which I must remember myself: love isn't primarily about making someone feel good, or making them happy with me (though if my appearance makes them unhappy, that may be a sign I'm not loving them well). Instead my love must seek to help them create their destiny. Two more points, both obvious:
  • That's not all of what love is about, but it had better be a major focus. If I tell the lovely Carol, "I want to help you create your destiny," that's not nearly the same to her as "I love you."
  • My love is always mixed up with my own desire to be worthy, and to receive love in return. It's not pure.

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