What is the key to changing?

“If I speak in human and angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal. And if I have the gift of prophecy and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge; if I have all faith so as to move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing.”

What is the key to really changing on the inside and growing in love? How can we avoid the trap of just going through the motions, doing good works or whatever we think we’re supposed to do but not having love?

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I definitely think it’s a process. But you can ask the Holy Spirit to give you that love. Ask Jesus for the grace and to fully submit to God’s will. In time it will come :slight_smile:

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Having a well grounded view of God and ourselves helps. Humility allows us to see how gratuitously God loves all human beings. Gratuitous in that we are flawed creatures, and yet God still pours out love continuously.

Also, for me negative consequences are also a motivator to love better. Life truly is happier as we sacrifice for others and so God’s “chastisement” is productive for me.

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Something that helped me was using 2 Cor chapter 13 as my examine of conscious for a year, reading it in every different Bible translation I could get my hands on.

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I actually just finished reading an article by Sam Guzman on the topic of change! I’ll link it below, but he says that the greatest was to change is massive action.
I hope you find the article useful :slight_smile:

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I think the key to any change is the desire or the realization that one needs to do so.

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Remembering it’s not about you.

Learning to do the right thing, but leave the results up to God.

(Which are both a lot harder than they sound and might be the spiritual work of a lifetime)

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Being open to God’s transforming grace.

Religion that doesn’t help transform a person is useless religion

Contemplative Prayer is the path God has led many toward. As the saying goes, “just do it.”

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Archbishop Sheen digs into this question:
https://www.americancatholictruthsociety.com/sheen/43TheLawofLove.mp3

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Stop trying so hard just let it happen, if you really want to change it will happen, sit and listen for God don’t push it or timetable it, just be and let the spirit move you,

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Make sure you make reading the New Testament a part of your life.

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. “ 1 Peter 3: 3-5

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Pray; seek God: He’s the only one who can accomplish this in us. From the most quoted New Covenant prophecy from the Old Testament, Jer 31:33:
"I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people."

“Under grace”, in the New Covenant understanding, “Love fulfills the Law”. Rom 13:10

Love is the primary definition of justice for man, that by which God justifies us, making us just or righteous, which is why the Greatest Commandments are what they are incidentally.

"And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that he exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him." Heb 11:6

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First is to never stop asking this question. If you are ever certain that you are doing all that you do for the right reason, find a quiet place, ask God, then wait for an answer.

2nd, payer. Pray more often, pray with more intent. The Mass primarily, then other personal, devotional prayers.

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FAITH is the KEY…

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I think you should not be looking for a “key” to changing your life, but rather a “keyring”. It should have been obvious not just from the myriad answers you got here, but from the reading of Scripture you had quoted.

The verses you quoted are near the end of 1st Corinthians chapter 13, St. Paul’s famous Canticle of Love, where he extols the different virtues attached to love, and that even the greatest of the virtues, the theological virtues of hope and faith, are useless without love. From this passage of Scripture St Thomas Aquinas surmised that the virtue of love, or charity as it is traditionally known, is the form of all virtue. That is, the virtue of charity “informs” the other virtues to what end they should lead to, which is God Himself (ST II-II Q. 23 A. 7 and 8). But since you cannot practice all the virtues at the same time, it falls to the virtue of charity, the “Keychain” of virtues, to decide which virtue should be strengthened and practiced at every stage of the Christian’s life.

In the beginning, love wants to know its Beloved, so Faith and Vocal prayers are the beginning of the spiritual life, and the active life protects and bolsters it. As the Christian progresses, mental prayer and finally contemplative prayer are reached. All of these were mentioned by the posters above, and they should correspond to which stage of the Christian life you are in.

Personal desire to change. No amount of other people giving advice and motivating and pushing you to change will ever be enough if you personal don’t want to change.

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:slight_smile: I would think asking for advice is a great sign of a personal desire to change. Although I totally agree, it is after all a major part of the virtue of charity.

I don’t know about the effectiveness of random advice from strangers, but it might help.

This sort of transformation, for me, begins with service to others. That can be interpreted a number of ways so I’ll offer some specifics. Offer kindness where none is expected; extend forgiveness where none is deserved; do favors for your neighbors without waiting for thanks; don’t demand credit for something when it has been taken from you by someone else; pray for those who offend and always return hostility with gentleness. (Prov 15:1)

The entire book of Proverbs is good for answering your question. It is, as one poster said, a process and can be very difficult at times; even extremely painful when we are rejected for it. But it can and will become a habit when it is cultivated daily and with constant prayer as a background. Blessings in your efforts. :slight_smile:

Yep… If one really seeks the Truth - one must seek with an open and honest mind…

It shouldn’t hurt to hear what JESUS has to say.

I’d suggest - read Matthew - Chapters 5 through 7 complete. His Sermon… His Words…

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