Amoris Laetitia 93-94: Love is at the Service of Others

amoris laetitia memeTwo paragraphs today that look at love at the service of others. I’m not surprised that this Ignatian value, of being a person for others, surfaces in this reflection.

93. The next word that Paul uses is chrestéuetai. The word is used only here in the entire Bible. It is derived from chrestós: a good person, one who shows his goodness by his deeds. Here, in strict parallelism with the preceding verb, it serves as a complement. Paul wants to make it clear that “patience” is not a completely passive attitude, but one accompanied by activity, by a dynamic and creative interaction with others. The word indicates that love benefits and helps others. For this reason it is translated as “kind”; love is ever ready to be of assistance.

I think also that love is not an “experience” in which we immerse ourselves. Pope Francis, Ignatius of Loyola, and Paul of Tarsus see it as an active response to the grace of Christ.

Drawing Hebrew etymology and the Spiritual Exercises together:

94. Throughout the text, it is clear that Paul wants to stress that love is more than a mere feeling. Rather, it should be understood along the lines of the Hebrew verb “to love”; it is “to do good”. As Saint Ignatius of Loyola said, “Love is shown more by deeds than by words”.(Spiritual Exercises, Contemplation to Attain Love (230)) It thus shows its fruitfulness and allows us to experience the happiness of giving, the nobility and grandeur of spending ourselves unstintingly, without asking to be repaid, purely for the pleasure of giving and serving.

Thoughts?

Remember that Amoris Laetitia is online here.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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