In First Corinthians, you can find many passages about love. Most commonly known to many is the passage, “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” in 1 Corinthians 13:7. I invite you to take a moment with me to think about what each of these proclamations might call forth from us as we reflect on what love entails.
Love Bears All Things
By bearing or sharing each other’s concerns within our hearts, we open ourselves to being God’s instrument of hope and peace to a hurting world. We enter into a space of being with and being in solidarity with another, where oftentimes we are the ones who are transformed. Compassion and empathy can be borne from honoring the trust placed in us to share another person’s concerns.
Love Believes All Things
To believe in someone is to validate their being, their goodness, their uniqueness. By believing in another person, we are saying that this person matters and matters to us. It is certainly not easy to like someone whose beliefs are radically different from ours, but we can persevere in offering prayers for the well-being of a person and to see the person through God’s eyes.
Love Hopes All Things
Hope is believing in positive outcomes, in the glass being half full, and that sunshine and rainbows come after the rainy days in our lives. Hope is having faith that God is present always and will provide us with the strength to get through life’s difficult moments. Hope is believing in the transformative power of God to bring about good from difficult situations and to lift us up in times of darkness, allowing us to grow in compassion for one another. Hope is surrendering our wills to God’s providential care.
Love Endures All Things
Perhaps the hardest element of love is to endure the hard times that we experience with each other. To be with someone in suffering and pain challenges us to recognize our human limitations and that we are not always able to “fix” and “control” everything around us. But in being with someone, letting our presence be an offering of love, we can give hope and peace to another.
We learn also in this same chapter that love is patient and kind, and that love always hopes and always trusts and never fails. These proclamations give us much to reflect on in our relationships with others. As Christians, we are called to love ourselves and one another, not just on Valentine’s Day, but every day. With God’s grace and through prayer, we can learn to persevere in love and to love abundantly.
You may find the mantra, Listen, Listen, Listen to My Heart’s Song, a meditative, soothing message of God’s love.
Do you feel called to spread God’s love of mercy and hope to a needy world? If so, why not contact one of our Vocation Ministers to begin exploring the call to religious life.