Thursday, April 09, 2009

Mandatum

MANDATUM novum do vobis: ut diligatis invicem: sicut dilexi vos, ut et vos diligatis invicem.
A new commandment I give unto you: That you love one another, as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

John 13:34
This Gospel passage is found in today's Mass readings, and on the face of it, seems impossible to follow. You can't make someone love you, just as you can't order someone to be hungry. I am reminded of the stereotypical overbearing mother who tells her children “Now tell me that you love me”.

But the problem is that we think that love is a feeling.  Some forms of love are feelings, like eros love, but that isn't a solid basis for a long relationship between persons. Rather, ask anyone who has been in a long, loving marriage, and you will hear that love is an act of the will, not a feeling. You chose to love someone. It is hard, but this is our duty.

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