The world feels so loud lately. If we can’t prove someone else wrong through superior reasoning, can we do it through superior volume or more exclamation points? Even Christians are shouting at each other, trying to help guide others in the right direction when we fear they are slipping into error.
Today’s reading might set up an impossible standard of conduct for our always-connected, social media lives. Having all knowledge and comprehending all mysteries? Not enough. Possessing faith that can move not just one, but multiple mountains? Not enough. Giving away every single thing you own and handing your body over? Nope, not enough. In fact, all those things together, without love, add up to nothing. (1 Corinthians 13:1-3)
Love always does the correct thing, yes, but it is based in relationship, not in cajoling, lecturing, or forcefully posting links to articles or the Catechism. Love is the new commandment; it flows directly from God’s heart to us through Jesus. (Catechism of the Catholic Church § 1823) God made us because He wanted to love us. In relationship with Him, we are changed from the inside. When our hearts beat in unison with God’s heart, we embody Love, and we see others the way God sees them. We can only effect real change in the lives of others if we have first been transformed by Love.
So should we overlook the errors and shortcomings of others? Love rejoices with the truth, after all. (1 Corinthians 13:6) Shouldn’t we be spreading the truth everywhere?
Truth and Love are not mutually exclusive. This passage shows us clearly that Love is the Source: everything we need to behave as daughters of God flows from it, so we must stay connected to it. When we feel discouraged, like this list of qualities is too lofty for us to attain, let’s remember that our Heavenly Father embodies them perfectly. He delights in each one of us uniquely, as if we were His only one. All of His love is ours, ready to be poured into our hearts if only we ask Him.
May we all experience a real encounter with Love Himself. May we all pray together, along with Servant of God Dorothy Day, "Enlarge Thou my heart, Lord, that Thou mayest enter in.”
Abbey Dupuy is the Assistant Theological Editor for Blessed is She and writes her life as a homeschooling mama of four frequently barefoot children. She muses about imperfect parenting, practicing gratitude, and celebrating the liturgical year with her young family on her blog. In her spare time, she enjoys running, gardening, coffee, and cookbooks, not usually at at the same time. You can find out more about her here. She is the author of our Blessed Conversations: The Virtues study found here.