This First Friday we offer excerpts from Pope Francis' commentary on 1 Corinthians 13:4-6 in which he ponders the joys and challenges of daily loving after the manner of the Heart of Christ.
Love is patient….”slow to anger”…the quality of one who does not act on impulse and avoids giving offense…God’s “patience”, shown in his mercy towards sinners, is a sign of his real power….We encounter problems whenever we think that relationships or people ought to be perfect, or when we put ourselves at the centre and expect things to turn out our way…Patience takes root when I recognize that other people also have a right to live in this world, just as they are.
Love is at the service of others…. love benefits and helps others…shows its fruitfulness and allows us to experience the happiness of giving, the nobility and grandeur of spending ourselves unstintingly….
Love is not jealous….Whereas love makes us rise above ourselves. True love values the other person’s achievements…It strives to discover its own road to happiness, while allowing others to find theirs.
Love is not boastful….Those who love not only refrain from speaking too much about themselves, but are focused on others….What really makes us important is a love that understands, shows concern, and embraces the weak….embraces humility.
Love is not rude….To love is to be gentle and thoughtful…not rude or impolite; it is not harsh…Courtesy is a school of sensitivity… a kind look is essential…Those who love are capable of speaking words of comfort, strength, consolation, and encouragement.
Love is generous….The Bible makes it clear that generously serving others is far more noble than loving Ourselves.
Love is not irritable or resentful….does not immediately react harshly to the weaknesses and faults of others.…Our first reaction when we are annoyed should be one of heartfelt blessing, asking God to bless, free and heal that person.
Love forgives….rooted in a positive attitude that seeks to understand other people’s weaknesses.
Love rejoices with others….If we fail to learn how to rejoice in the well-being of others, and focus on our own needs, we condemn ourselves to a joyless existence.
Love bears all things….love cherishes the good name of others, even one’s enemies.
Excerpts from the Apostolic Exhortation, The Joy of Love, selected by Muriel Cameron, RSCJ
Sacred Heart statue at the Catholic University in Seoul, Korea, artist unknown.