When I was eight months old, my mom became pregnant with my brother. She worried that she wouldn’t have enough love to share between two children. “After Bill was born,” she said, “I found that love doesn’t divide, it multiplies.” And it tripled a year or so later when sister Joni was born.
Similar to mom’s observation, a priest said today that the two great commandments to love God and love our neighbor are not two commandments, but one—because the virtue of love is not divided.
We love God as a response to the love he has shown us. We love our fellow humans not because we like them (we may not be able to stand some of them!) but we love them because God loves them and we love God.
In this way, love is not divided, but multiplied. In this way, love becomes supernatural (which means we’re getting lots of help from you-know-Who).
And it’s only possible because love is an act of the will, not just an emotional thing. So here’s the good news: if we wish well the people we don’t like and pray for their good, we’ve loved them well. Whew!
In fact, we can even “pray our way through the day.” When we find ourselves with a snarky thought (There she goes again!), we can morph it to a prayer (God, please flood her with your grace and me with patience.). This does wonders for our nervous system and puts less-than-perfect us in a right relation with God and that less-than-perfect neighbor.
God’s love is one love. By plugging into the God-socket, we can be the multipliers.
Teach me, Lord, your way that I may walk in your truth, single-hearted and revering your name. I will praise you with all my heart (Psalm 86:11).
P.P.S. For extra help with patience, check out my short video at virtueconnection.com/path-to-patience.
My Daughter did the same thing,when she became pregnant with her second child. She cried and cried,she said she had not had enough time to live her first born . I told her ,yes, you do you have all of your life.
Wonderful that you were able to tell her from experience that she had nothing to fear.
“And it’s only possible because love is an act of the will, not just an emotional thing.” That’s a sentence I can wrap my mind around and it means Ican practice it. Duke Ellington said “Love is unconditional; It’s not ‘Where have you been?’ It’s ‘How are you?'” I can practice meaning it when I ask “How are you?”
The word “engagement” comes to mind — meeting people where they are.