Friday, February 8, 2013

"Real & Costly Love"


     What I mean in general is the cry of “Foul!” from the world around us that says Christians are not living by our own standards, or are being intolerant, bigoted, unfair, unjust etc. etc. The fact of the matter is that we are intolerant, and should be.  Consider the words of the late Archbishop Fulton Sheen:
Christian love bears evil, but it does not tolerate it.  It does penance for the sins of others, but it is not broadminded about sin.  The cry for tolerance never induces it to quench its hatred of the evil philosophies that have entered into contest with the Truth.  It forgives the sinner, and it hates the sin; it is unmerciful to the error in his mind.  The sinner it will always take back into the bosom of the Mystical Body; but his lie will never be taken into the treasury of His Wisdom.  Real love involves real hatred: whoever has lost the power of moral indignation and the urge to drive the buyers and sellers from the temples has also lost a living, fervent love of Truth.  Charity, then, is not a mild philosophy of "live and let live"; it is not a species of sloppy sentiment.  Charity is the infusion of the Spirit of God, which makes us love the beautiful and hate the morally ugly. 

 Tolerance is an attitude of reasoned patience toward evil … a forbearance that restrains us from showing anger or inflicting punishment. Tolerance applies only to persons … never to truth. Tolerance applies to the erring, intolerance to the error … Architects are as intolerant about sand as foundations for skyscrapers as doctors are intolerant about germs in the laboratory.  Tolerance does not apply to truth or principles. About these things we must be intolerant, and for this kind of intolerance, so much needed to rouse us from sentimental gush, I make a plea. Intolerance of this kind is the foundation of all stability.

I feel largely inadequate to speak very eloquently here, especially as I know that others have spoken plainly what I myself think (--if only I had the time/words to say it like that!), but two things have come up in this vein this week:
a.       The Boy Scouts of America debating a decision on whether to allow openly homosexual members and leaders.
b.       A post I saw (which was not intended to be taken the way I took it) that said that “Love is Acceptance regardless of Flaws or anything else”

And herein lies the problem. We have a difference of definitions here. For the Christian, to love someone must mean to love their very person, their innate created and unique self-hood, their infinitely precious mind, heart and soul—but not their faults.  Plainly put, love does not, and must not tolerate sin.  
     Now, I realize that there is WAY MORE to the story than I am delving into here--you can thank my two beautiful, getting into everything all day long boyos for that--way more including broken hearts and burned bridges and torn up families. I do not mean to steamroll any of this. There is also a great deal of harm done to others in the name of Good and Love that needs to be repaired. The brokenness surrounding this issue tears at my heart.  But please--do not ask me to tolerate it. Ask me to love you, and I will, though that is indeed the harder task for us both.

"Our charity must be real and costly love, with deep feeling for the sins in spite of which we love the sinner - no mere tolerance or indulgence which parodies love as flippancy parodies merriment."  --C.S. Lewis in The Weight of Glory

1 comment:

  1. Where in time do we lose that unconditional child love? We as adults
    give our love freely to the babies in our life and they to us, but as adults our ability to love all is missing. Our Lord tells us that it is harder for us to enter the Kingdom than the children at His feet, because they still have that love. So how do we find that Love again


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