"They Love Me... They Love Me Not..."
Monday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time.
Today I will practice contrition in order to grow in effective love.
by Catholic.net | Source: Catholic.net
Lord, my prayer will “work” only if I have humility
in your presence. So I am approaching you with meekness and humility of heart. I have an infinite
need for you and your grace. Thinking about this helps me grow in humility. I trust in you and your
grace. Thank you for the unfathomable gift of your love.
Lord, let me
love the way you love – with self-giving generosity.
1. The Hurdle of
“Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.” The relationship of the scribes and
Pharisees with Jesus is uni-directional. They demand that he perform a sign if he wishes to be found
worthy of their esteem, but they have closed their hearts to any possible openness toward him in
advance. Pride makes impossible demands on others and will not be satisfied until these impossible
demands are met! Thus pride is never satisfied. It is the cause of division, resentment and
bitterness in relationships. Rather than make demands on Christ, we need to make demands on
ourselves. We need to make demands that we grow in humility, selflessness and authentic love in
imitation of the Lord.
2. To Love or Not to Love:
Pope Benedict XVI teaches us
about self-giving love in his encyclical letter, Deus Caritas Est. Commenting on the Song of Songs,
he writes: “The poems contained in this book were originally love-songs, perhaps intended for a
Jewish wedding feast and meant to exalt conjugal love. In this context it is highly instructive to
note that in the course of the book two different Hebrew words are used to indicate ‘love.’ First
there is the word dodim, a plural form suggesting a love that is still insecure, indeterminate and
searching. This comes to be replaced by the word ahabà. By contrast with an indeterminate,
‘searching’ love, this word expresses the experience of a love which involves a real discovery of
the other, moving beyond the selfish character that prevailed earlier. Love now becomes concern and
care for the other. No longer is it self-seeking, a sinking in the intoxication of happiness;
instead it seeks the good of the beloved, it becomes renunciation and it is ready, and even willing,
for sacrifice” (no. 6).
3. Nineveh and Love:
Jesus tells us that at the Judgment,
the men of Nineveh will arise with the generation of people surrounding him and condemn it. The
reason is that the contemporaries of Jonah repented at his preaching. True self-giving love begins
with repentance. When I repent I acknowledge the person of God who is worthy of all my love. I feel
remorse for having loved him so little or for having offended him who is all love. Love-filled
remorse implies a bending of my will affectionately toward the other. This is a form a self-giving
love that we can all achieve at any moment of our lives.
Lord, I love you. I want to strengthen the habit of self-giving love within me.
Presently my love is weak and short-lived. I can always practice loving sorrow for having offended
you. Lord, grant me the grace of practicing contrition of heart throughout the
Today I will practice contrition in order to grow in effective
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