Can you imagine what our world will be like if everyone did anything and everything he/she pleases? Perhaps, to some extent, this is already a widespread way of living in our world today. And what do we have? Pain, more pain, increasing pain... So much brokenness. Rampant brokenness. Brokenness played down by a so-called 'resilience' which, unmasked, reveals fear and helplessness. A mess that we can only stare at helplessly. Speechless.
People do anything and everything they please because they have no regard for anyone else and it isn't hard to understand why. Why should I care for anyone when I myself am suffering, when I am being ill-treated, when I am not cared for? Why should I bother how people feel? Why should I help another at my own expense, and inconvenience myself? To each his own...! I fend for myself. If I don't, who will?
But who is bullying us, who is removing the care for one another, who is causing our sufferings? Isn't the biggest culprit the absence of true love? True love, distorted, repackaged and sold cheaply in the marketplace to reach the masses?
How often do we mean 'I love me first, then you' when we say 'I love ... ... you'? Perhaps, we aren't even aware of the strength of the 'I' in ourselves. Perhaps, we know... but not the full extent of it. Perhaps, we really do know and are already working to minimise this 'I'. And why do I keep going on about this 'I'? Because true love has no 'I'... only 'other'.
Those who have stuck on in their marriage, in their priestly and religious vocations... not just for the sake of keeping everything status quo, in name, but truly to live out these vocations... these are the ones who are daily fighting against all odds to deny this 'I', renouncing self, taking up the cross and following the One who emptied Himself completely for others, for us. And what happened to this Person? He died on the cross. True love comes with a price... the purer and deeper the love, the bigger the price... but it doesn't end here in such a morbid state. The bigger the price paid, the more glorious the resurrection. True love nourishes our souls, giving us a happiness that is real and lasting. And are we not, in all our searching and seeking, in all our trials and errors of what to do with our lives, looking for happiness of some sort? True love isn't without pain... but it is a different kind of pain; a pain that builds us up rather than destroy, a pain that affirms us that we have fought the good fight and have returned victorious.
But if we are so unloved and going through so much sufferings because of all the hurts people inflict on us, how can we love anyone? We're so broken ourselves. To be loved, to be embraced, to be healed, assured and affirmed, to be restored to wholeness... We need to go to the Fountain of everlasting love, the Source of love - God. To be filled with the most secure love, to be renewed, refreshed, to be brought to restful waters and have our drooping spirits uplifted and revived.
To know in theory makes no difference to anyone's life until we actively seek this Living Water...
What kind of love do you want to settle for?