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Love as a far more difficult life choice

Ptricia McCarthy, CND

January Article for The RI Catholic by Sr. Patricia McCarthy, CND

It’s easy to hate. Truth can be ignored, facts dismissed, decency overlooked. Of course, the consequences of hate are not easy. It leads to total isolation, endless hurt to others. Life becomes a hell where no one is trusted beyond his or her own self-interests; people become commodities to be used or discarded at will. Everything and everyone has a price. Hatred unleashed takes on a life of its own. It changes our lives and the lives of those around us.

On the other side is love – a very different and far more difficult life choice. Snap judgements and easy answers no longer fit where love is concerned. Truth must be searched for and wrestled with every single day. Other people are valued only for who they are in the eyes of God, not for how much we need them or can use them. Love unleashed also takes on a life of its own. It changes us and all our relationships and choices.

Knee jerk reactions and revenge have no place in lives centered on love. And that is extremely hard. It’s so much easier to blame others, than to leave the judgment to God. At first it’s easy to walk away from hurt and keep a cold heart toward the one who has done the damage to our lives or families or careers or towns or countries. But eventually the hate seeps in and destroys love. “An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.” (Gandhi) There is a great deal of blindness going around. We seem to have a pandemic of it throughout the world.

One day Jesus was on his way to a new town when a man by the road called out to him, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me.” Jesus stopped as he always did to those who cried out. “What do you want of me?” The beggar was so clear and precise in his need and desire, “Lord, that I may see.” With compassion and in the power of God which was with him, Jesus cured the poor man’s blindness. He let him see.

As a world community, we need to recognize that we are blind to goodness and compassion, to kindness and justice. We need to collectively cry out to the Son of God, “Lord, that we may see.” Our systems are not failing because we lack enough police and SWAT teams. They are failing because we lack enough will power to refuse to hate. We refuse to allow ourselves to get caught up in an eye for an eye mentality that blinds all.

Jesus was a human being. In his humanity he chose love over hatred, goodness over evil, forgiveness over revenge, in every choice he made, while he walked this earth. We are not helpless in the presence of evil. We can cry out to Jesus and trust he will give us the eyes of love if we desire them.


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