We want to love others, but when we don’t see ‘love’ staring back at us, it’s hard. We may not even try, or we may give up.
Love isn’t a fluffy feeling. It all comes down to a decision we must make: I will love this person. I will give him, or her, respect. I will see God’s spirit in him. I may not like this person. But I’m called to love them, regardless.
Real love loves for love’s sake, and not because the loved one is lovable.–Eugenia Price
Amazingly, sometimes the people we must struggle to love, actually bring out the best in us. Our genuine attempt to love them causes us to implement at least five of the seven virtues: patience, courage, justice, and hope.
Now, what about those who are trying to love me? Am I hard to love?
Am I sarcastic, vindictive, or mean to someone? Do I cheat or lie to them? Do I ignore them, and put my own needs ahead of theirs? Does the person who’s trying to love me have to walk on eggshells so as not to upset my sensitive nature? How can I expect someone to love me if I have traits like these?
We can make it much easier for those who are trying to love us by taking a good, honest look at ourselves. If we don’t like what we see, we must change it.
And one of them, a doctor of the Law, putting him to the test, asked him, “Master, which is the great commandment in the Law?” Jesus said to him, “‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind.’ This is the greatest and the first commandment. And the second is like it, ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.–Matthew 22:35-40