We cant love others by ourselves


#1

Those of us who are good at loving others, who find loving comes naturally to them are to be envied.
The rest of us need help. This is where God comes in. If we can somehow access that love source, He can do the loving for us. So its not me who is doing the loving but Jesus Christ.

This may well be a crude analogy but I think of how we fill up our car with gas/petroleum. The car cant run on empty. So the more e pray and keep in touch with God, the less chance of us running out of gas.
Whenever we are complimented for our ability to love, we need to thank God. Even those guys and gals who seem to do it naturally. God seems to put lots of love in peoples’ hearts without them knowing or even praying. Lucky them. But yet it could be a burden too, as that love can be truly tested through challenges they face in life.

Feel free to correct me on my suspect Catholic theology here. I don’t have my Masters in Divinity yet. :slight_smile:


#3

Is that supposed to be troll post?
OK I’ll ignore it then.


#5

Hi, some of us have a natural empathy, which doesn’t mean there’s great virtue in our being kind, so as you suggest, it all comes from God anyway. Empathy doesn’t mean you always get it right and that you manage to convey love and positivity to others, or that you help them. People don’t always understand our motives even when they’re the best. Some of my own worst mistakes were made out of the best and kindest intentions. Perhaps the greatest love is sometimes given by those for whom it is most difficult?

From early childhood, as second eldst of nine, I’d naturally conciliate between siblings and my parents, explaining their case, their reasons, their needs, their hurts.
It wasn’t virtue, it was a natural capacity, so really not a high virtue, and can be mixed with many things.

Empathy can be a very painful gift on many levels, and at times I’m swamped with grief when a memory surfaces the times I got it wrong, and rather than helping someone, my best intentions backfired and I may even have caused pain. I can only pray, where no redress is possible.I loved my boys, love my sons in my deepest heart, but there were times in retroscpect, should? have chosen differently. I mentioned this to my middle son once, and he replied, “Mum, you were a good mother, you always loved us.” That revealed his own loving heart…his younger brother started reeling off all the good memories of my mothering. But don’t we, most of us, love our children in our deepest heart, more than we love anyone else … is this perfect love, or a natural consequence of this unique part of ourself, our offspring. My sons are all very different.
I passionately love each … a biological necessity, as well as God-given protection of our children? Unconditional, yet in some way self-serving to love our nearest kin?

I had a period of intense search in writing, as that is my natural outlet, in trying to find the right queations and right answers. I seem impelled to search God’s answers in that way, and named the chapters that evolved, as "A handful of wildflowers’ (peotic spirit prevented me from using the word 'weedflowers which is actually what is meant, in honor of the weedflowers my little boys used to give as gifts of love, dandelions, clover flowers. I saw my writings as a handful of wedfowers picked with love and presented to God. As trivial, yet because like my sons I was doing my best, a gift of love.
Maybe I will drive you crazy by posting a few from the ‘Loving Others’ chapter…or maybe I shouldn’t. Eyes glazing over. Innoculated with a gramophone needle, my Mum woud have said, and judging from your profile photo, I suspect you’d get the reference.

Bottom line: for empaths and head people alike, all love comes from God, and the degree of virtue in each act of love can only be evaluated by God, and I think you’d be in agreement


#6

I didn’t really mean to use the word “empath” but come to think of it, it is probably what I mean anyway. And as you outlined “the mother” is very good at it. I think when the mother can love outsiders, other people’s kids, strangers, then she is taking that ability to love to the next level. And facing the challenges to love that God seems to be presenting her.
My parents had 7 kids. & boys. I am the 5th. That ability to love by my parents was tested I think by my disabled brother. He really played on their guilt feelings and had them wrapped around his finger at certain stages of their lives. I tend to think my parents died as saints, but I’m biased. :slight_smile:


#7

A couple I suppose?

Our God please love in and through me

Eternal God, unless You love through me, I cannot love You above all, or cherish other persons, as Jesus loves me.
Therefore I ask You to know, love and serve through me, for my attempts may be tainted with selfish responses or kindly mistakes. Others’ logic and reality before You is mystery to me, for I have only my own consciousness.

I know something of my sinfulness, yet what appears to be ‘sin’ in others may instead be a differing virtue, or a product of innocence or ignorance that only appears to be sin or error.
Grant that I never judge others out of my own prejudices.

I ask You Who-Are-Love to be my love and service of others, welcoming everyone as Your beloved. I want to celebrate Your love, beauty and inspiration in others, even if it is obscure.
Let Your Spirit fill my heart, mouth and prayer with gifts of Your love and truth for others.
Let me be endowment of Your own self, Your sacrament, and our gentle Mother present to them.
I ask this despite my evident failures in loving.

I trust that You will free me wholly into Your love, wisdom, and compassion. I wait humbly in my daily efforts, knowing that in Your mercy You will grant my prayer to love Yourself in me with all strength and being, and to love others through me with Jesus’ love.

Giving and receiving

Dear God, how may I serve others? How may I dispense comfort and blessing? Through Your love and knowledge of the hidden desires and needs of each person, please give me perception, compassion, generosity and means to meet others’ authentic needs, by prayer and act. Our God, please serve through me beyond my interpretive faculties, beyond my sincere good will and my generous acts.

Your gifts are richer and more delightful than any dreamt of in human understanding. You know the true needs of each person, and the depth of their hidden pain. Touch and bless others, and let Your healing and peace flow to them as I gently seek to serve them. In their gladness and in their grief, [B]give Yourself to them in my efforts and prayers united with the prayer and merit of Christ, His Mother, and the Angels and Saints.

God who loves me and who loves each one whom I serve, through Your grace please help me to develop wisdom and commonsense to serve others well, while wisely caring for my own needs. Fulfil my needs to overflowing with Your vitality and bounty, so that as I receive my giving is multiplied!

As every good comes from You so must all praise and thanksgiving return to You! In union with Your greatest gifts—our Saviour Jesus and Your Holy Spirit—I honour You for everything You have given and will give to each person in time and eternity! Let such thankfulness atone in some measure for those who fear that good may depend primarily on their efforts, and for the ingratitude of those who never and those who seldom thank and praise You, God!


#8

If I think of a few of my brothers who are emotionally short-changed. They are better at tough love than the more overt, affectionate kindness. I think I am actually closer to empath than “cold love”. In fact my emotions can get me in trouble when I express them.
But wait. Am I confusing emotion with kind love and empathy here?


#9

There is usually a reason for it when someone is unable to feel or express love. I’ve seen some pretty tough and hard natured people turn out to be very capable of kindness and love. I have seen it many times. One example was when I first started my career, I had to work with an old guy who was the tough WWII type of guy in his last years. He was one of those “shape up or ship out” types,who had a hard-scrabble child of the Great Depression view of the world. We hated each other. Over the course of time and having been forced to spend long hours together I came to appreciate the reasons for his views. Over time we became great friends and we loved each other like a father and child. I actually had started calling him Uncle Johnny and he started referring to me as “The Kid.” And he came to accept my outlook on things as well . When I left the company he actually cried. There was a beautiful soul with a tremendous capacity for love under that crusty old exterior. It just took the right situation for him to find it.


#10

And there is doubless little chance they aren’t saints. I’m certain my Dad was…and my dear Mum, she left early, diedleaving nine surviving children, having lived a lifetime of giving in her 43 years. We saw him grow more lovely of spirit every year; and on his deathbed, when the priest visited for a few moments before my father finally lost consciousness, he came out of my Dad’s hospital room murmuring in a breathless voice, “Joy! Joy! He’s so full of joy!” in contemplation of going Home to God
Our parents of large families were incredible, quiet heros.

And yes, loving your own children does aid in compassion to others’ children, but equally, there are innumerable single persons, non–parents, who respond compassionately to others’ children, other people.
Parents or not, how many didn’t wipe away tears and feel great joy when those kids were successfully removed from the Thai cave this week!

Confusing kind love, empathy, love? Probably. The strands are entwined in us. We’re blessed that Jesus wept … over what the people of Jerusalem were denying themselves, and when faced with the grief of two sisters who had lost their brother. It’s okay to be human, and to try the best we can manage (can manage, with our best efforts, though we often ask more than that of ourselves)

Jesus didn’t speak of emotional love, or of dispassionate love, when He described how He will judge souls worthy of heaven. Implicity, there is purity of intention in our acts of practical love, practical kindness towards others, b ut He simly spoke of practical acts of kindness towards others as the difference between heaven and hell (Matthew 25, verses 31-46)

We try, to be helpful, compassionate, reassuring, inspiring…whatever seems to be needed, ‘goodcatholic’ and trust that God flows the love and blessing through our efforts.
Which brings me to the need to make lunch for my husband and on on what is midday Saturday in faraway Australia, on a lovely fresk sunny winter day.

God Bless. I’ve seen you around sturring the waters to provoke thought, which is great!


#11

I can picture him because I’ve met so many like in my lifetime. The more you get to know them the better. it reminds me of the British character. “don’t wear your heart on your sleeve” or “don’t burden others with your problems” mentality.


#12

If I can get back to my OP. Now I think about it , I was exploring more the ability to love in the context of Christian love. So people really feeling God’s love through us.
Some people aren’t good at loving full-stop. Whether it be overt and affectionate or cold tough love. They just don’t like being around other people at all. They don’t enjoy others’ company.

Maybe God needs to give them a magic potion of extroversion. So they can take more interest in others. I have some of this trait in me. I can be incredibly self-centred and selfish. And unloving.
I cant love other people without God’s help. i’m too fussy as well. Some of their idiosyncrasies bother me. I have become a grumpy old man. :slight_smile:


#14

Cruciferi is trying to troll me. In his mind its “troll the troll”. So justified. But if I respond in like manner, he will spit the dummy and flag me. And I’m off on a forced vacation. Makes you wonder whether that is his intention. To see me gone.
This is where we need the ignore button.


#15

Honestly, I was being sarcastic man. I didn’t mean anything. :hugs: I thought you enjoyed the bantering?

I don’t know why you would think this… I’ve never flagged you :man_shrugging:t2:

Sorry, I thought you enjoyed some of my posts…


#16

Yes this. My empathy on itself, without has been painful and unproductive many times. The same feeling of uncontrolled love towards others would come lashing back at me with a turmoil of unexplainable guilt when someone got the wrong message from me or feelings of self-unworthiness.
After beginning to pray and ignore my feelings in order to just do the acts of faith I sometimes see more results and maybe a bit of patience growing in me. And the loneliness is gone. I no longer have to decide just by myself how to soothe without butting in without any reasonable right to do so. And how to accept that sometimes silence is also a form of caring.


#17

I like bantering. Don’t stop if that is really the case. I j suspect you might be annoyed by my posts. Please be upfront with me if you don’t like what I write.
Escalating banter is a problem. It will get me in trouble. that’s for sure.


#18

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#19

Agreed, my husband doesn’t have any particular gift of empathy, but more and more as he grows older he makes what is for him, supreme effort to do little kindnesses. When he was a younger man, I often hurt myself on his lack of warmth or response. It was like getting through a thick concrete wall between us, not possible
And there have been many times when I’ve been in such emotional pain that at the same time I ws numbed, and yes, sometimes people are so hurt by others and by life events, that their kidness to others is close to heroic


#20

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