Learning to love

By  Carine Lee, Youth Speak News
  • April 4, 2008

Many of us are familiar with 1 Corinthian 13, “Love is patient; love is kind…” I’ve heard the passage over and over but I have never given it much thought. I cringe when I hear the exchange of “I love you” and find it difficult to accept or to tell someone that I love them. I’m not sure if I have the capacity to love.

A few weeks ago, I unintentionally attended a Catholic Women’s League meeting. I had arranged to meet with a religious sister visiting from Chicago but instead of launching straight into catching up on each other’s lives, she invited me to join the CWL workshop at which she was speaking. I was hesitant about it but decided to participate.

At the workshop we went through a scripted dialogue juxtaposing love-inspired responses against knee-jerk responses. We were told to reflect upon and write what inhibits us from consistently acting out of love towards other people. We were also encouraged to write how we could overcome these obstacles. Without hesitation, I knew what my obstacle to love is: Pride.

I was reminded of a personal reflection I did a year ago in which I listed the barriers to leading a spirit-filled life. Right atop that list was pride.

It was undeniable that my interactions with people were hesitant and sometimes bordering on impatience simply because I was too conceited with my lot in life. I had put myself on a pedestal and passed judgment on others. It was preventing me from being a true daughter of Christ and it prevented me from sharing the love within me.

When faced with challenges to a Spirit-filled life, I’ve come to realize that the only way to overcome these challenges is to turn to the Holy Spirit to empower and give me the courage to live as a child of God. I began to pray the Litany of Humility. It is a difficult prayer to say and I found myself struggling with hypocrisy. I did not want to say a prayer in which I was merely reciting words. Telling God that I am OK with being the least preferred is not OK. I did not want to be passed over for someone else and it would be nice to receive praise every now and then.

I began to pray a prayer for praying the Litany. I told Jesus that I am finding tremendous difficulty saying this prayer and meaning it, but I want to mean it so help me please.

Slowly but surely, I noticed my interaction with people change for the better. I was beginning to spend more time talking to people, reaching out and relating to them. I was finally able to share Spirit-inspired love with my neighbours. Perhaps it was because I was reciting the Litany every morning, which made me keep my pride in check.

All of us have the capability to love and the grace to live abundant Christian lives. We may struggle in our spiritual walk but with our eyes upon Jesus who said in John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy; I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.” Through Jesus Christ all barriers will be brought down.

(Lee, 21, studies communications at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, B.C.)

Comments (0)

There are no comments posted here yet

Leave your comments

  1. Posting comment as a guest. Sign up or login to your account.
Attachments (0 / 3)
Share Your Location

Please support The Catholic Register

Unlike many media companies, The Catholic Register has never charged readers for access to the news and information on our website. We want to keep our award-winning journalism as widely available as possible. But we need your help.

For more than 125 years, The Register has been a trusted source of faith-based journalism. By making even a small donation you help ensure our future as an important voice in the Catholic Church. If you support the mission of Catholic journalism, please donate today. Thank you.