Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Love: Use the Word Properly!
To say that our pre-ordination retreat was more than I could have expected is an understatement (I may have already said that [sorry]). One example of this experience was one of Bishops Zarama's homilies during daily Mass. It was all about Love.
In particular it is the abuse of the word in our culture. We love our cars; we love our home; we love our new suit. It goes on and on; we cannot escape it.
Bishop Zarama said that the word should be reserved for God and people alone. He believes that using the word for things that really do not matter diminishes the power of the word. He is correct. Society has taken that word and made it nothing more than a description of something that gives us pleasure. That type emotion literally takes from something or someone and therefore cannot be love.
Love is sacrificial. Love may mean giving up something so that someone else may get what they need. Love is about how we treat each other; what we can do for them and not what they do for us. As such, it is one of the most powerful words in the English language.
At the end of his homily Bishop Zarama made a very specific point to each one of us. He said he had better not ever hear any of us use that word outside of the context of God or a person (not even our animals). If he did, it would not be pretty.
I took his words to heart. I want that word to mean something and that attitude needs to start somewhere.
However, I do have a slight problem. My affection for our family dogs is real and not using the "L" word in the description of my affection for them will be difficult (or maybe I just better not talk about them in certain company:)