Friday, June 4, 2010
Love Conquers Fear
Hi everyone! The blessings and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ to all of you. Sorry it's been so long since my last posting. I've been very busy in the first 6 months of a new overseas job in Egypt (yes, Egypt and more on that to follow) and with life in general and my apologies to all those who have enjoyed reading my posts and thoughts.
Recently on Facebook, I posted a comment about Love and Hate. I keep hearing people comment on how they're opposites and that very concept has bothered me for DECADES. So being me, naturally I've done my own research and have my own thoughts on the subject and I'm fairly certain they're in line with the Church and with plain old common sense.
Here's my original FB post:
"Hate is a strong word, but FEAR is stronger. FEAR is the opposite of Love, not hate. We are told to be FEARLESS (fear not, for I am with you always) and Jesus Himself told us to hate even our own parents, Loving only Him. (Luke 14:25)"
I've spent over 30 years developing the argument through an understanding of our Catholic Catechism, a little philosophy and theology, and a study of history, that Love and fear are opposites, not Love and hate.
Love is what brings people together, but so does hate. In fact, hate has the ability to brings people together faster than Love, but the effect isn't as lasting because once the source of hate is gone, so is the bond. As anyone that has ever been in Love can attest, it's historically harder to bring people together through Love, but once they do come together, the effect is much longer lasting and in some cases, even eternal!
It's natural to want to be close to that which we Love, be it a person, a place or even an ideology, but we want to be as far as possible from that which we fear! Fear truly drives people apart. Hatred is different because the goal is hate is different. I can be close to someone I Love AND I can be close to someone I hate, such as an enemy, in order to defeat them. Look at war and warriors. Sometimes, in order to know and defeat that which is hated, an enemy; you must get even closer to them than someone you Love in order to understand and eventually destroy them. ("Keep your friends close, your enemies closer" -Sun Tzu)
Jesus Christ who conquered death, proves that if we follow Him on the narrow path we too can conquer death and with fearless Love we can also defeat our enemies! Not destroy them, but utterly defeat them. If we truly don't fear death, what power does a mere mortal enemy have over us? NONE!
A friend agreed that Love and Fear are the core emotions and suggested; "hate or fear are not the true opposite of love. The opposite of love is not hate but.... indifference." and I have to disagree.
Yes, there is a LOT of indifference in the world today, toward God, toward one another and toward that which doesn't affect us personally and it is growing every day but indifference is neutral and is neither Love nor fear. Indifference is lukewarm and neither hot nor cold and as we're taught in Revelation 3:16; "So, because you are lukewarm--neither hot nor cold--I am about to spit you out of my mouth."
We are called to both Love AND fear God at the same time, working out our salvation in fear and trembling. If we truly Loves our neighbors as ourselves, our earthly lives will be that much better. If we truly Love the Lord our God with all our hearts, souls, minds and might, we need not fear anything, even death!