Amoris Laetitia 99: Love Is Not Rude

amoris laetitia memePope Francis refers to a “school of sensitivity.”

99. To love is also to be gentle and thoughtful, and this is conveyed by the next word, aschemonéi. It indicates that love is not rude or impolite; it is not harsh. Its actions, words and gestures are pleasing and not abrasive or rigid. Love abhors making others suffer. Courtesy “is a school of sensitivity and disinterestedness” which requires a person “to develop his or her mind and feelings, learning how to listen, to speak and, at certain times, to keep quiet”.(Octavio Paz, La Llama Doble, Barcelona, 1993, 35)

The angelic doctor would affirm:

It is not something that a Christian may accept or reject. As an essential requirement of love, “every human being is bound to live agreeably with those around him”.(Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae II-II, q. 114, art. 2, ad 1) Every day, “entering into the life of another, even when that person already has a part to play in our life, demands the sensitivity and restraint which can renew trust and respect. Indeed, the deeper love is, the more it calls for respect for the other’s freedom and the ability to wait until the other opens the door to his or her heart”.(Catechesis (13 May 2005): L’Osservatore Romano, 14 May 2015, p. 8)

The difficulty is discernment. We are not always patient, and restraint may well dredge up questions. When is the time to pull back, especially when the urge is often to jump in and change things.

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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