Two kinds of love
October 25, 2010
by Fr. Tom Balluff, St. Mary Czestochowa Church, rural Delano

I visited a shrine out east while on my vacation a couple of weeks ago, and I found an interesting description of holy love that I would like to share with all of you.

Holy love is “the fulfillment of the Gospel message . . . the two Great Commandments – to love God above all else and your neighbor as yourself; and . . . how you will be judged.”

Self love is “motivated towards self-advantage in thought, word, and deed . . . sees only others’ faults, not his own . . . considers himself on the right path – perhaps even humble and virtuous.

Self love “holds a checklist in his heart of every wrong perpetrated against him.

“Is quick to anger and stands vigil over his own rights, making certain they are not transgressed.

“Hangs on to his own opinions, refusing to surrender to another viewpoint.

“Takes pride in his own achievements. May even take pride in his spiritual progress.

“Sees himself and the world as the be all/end all. His only pleasure is thus achieved through the world.

“Uses the goods of the world to satisfy self.

“Objects to every cross. Sees trials as a curse. Resents others’ good fortune.

“Prays only for himself and his own needs.

“Cannot accept God’s Will. Becomes bitter over trials.”

Holy love “is motivated in every thought, word, and action by love of God, and neighbor as self.

“Sees himself full of imperfections. Is always seeking to be perfected through love. Considers everyone more humble and holy than himself.

“Imitates divine mercy as best he can. Is compassionate and forgiving.

“Is patient. Takes note of others’ needs and concerns.

“Offers his own opinions, but listens to others and lends them equal merit with his own.

“Realizes all things proceed from God; that without God, he is capable of no good thing. All good comes from grace.

“Takes joy in storing up heavenly treasure; in growing closer to God and deeper in holiness. Knows the difference between earthly pleasures and spiritual joy.

“Uses the goods of the world to satisfy quest for holiness.

“Surrenders to the cross through love as Jesus did. Sees crosses as a grace to be used to convert others.

“Prays for all in need.”

My desire is that you find these little tidbits of deeper spiritual understanding insightful. They have been very helpful for me when examining my own conscience and when trying to discern God’s will in events and experiences in my own life. I hope they do the same for you.