Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Challenging My Writing Self - Picking up again on day 14

Pinterest has really lit up our lives.  Foodies, crafters, clothes horses, gardeners, DIY'ers, just to name a few, have found a target rich environment for finding and sharing the things that really light up our lives. 

It also has really lit things up with quote sharing.  It's a non-stop resource for signage and quotes.  One that has been making the rounds is "What is love?  Love is the absence of judgment" from the Dalai Lama.

On the surface, these words evoke an immediate positive response.  But after that first moment?  No, not so much.  If this was really true, love would have no trouble conquering the world and keeping it.  But after the first flush of human love, the first embrace of the idea of God's or Christ's love for humankind, of the recognition of philia or love as affection that could denote friendship, brotherhood or generally non-sexual affection, what are we left with?

Agape, philia, eros - Greek for the great and all encompassing world of love - and based on our human history, subject to change based on judgments that we can't help but collect and respond to as we experience these loves.  And where does judgment come from?  Our moral conscience.

Moral conscience urges a person to do good and avoid evil. It even judges his particular choices (past, present, and future) and shows God's authority. The prudent man hears God speaking in his commandments.
By conscience, the person's reason judges the morality of his actions (past, present, or future). In this judgment, man sees God's law. "Conscience is a messenger of him who speaks to us behind a veil and teaches us by his representatives. Conscience is the aboriginal Vicar of Christ" (John Cardinal Newman).

The Catechism of the Catholic Church  - Judge of Individual Acts (1777-1779)

If we love without judgment, then we deny our moral conscience and we become prone to error.  If we avoid listening to our inner voice, our choices of  good over evil, right versus wrong, direction and lack of direction, or recognition of real love and what is not love becomes flawed.

So, yes, in a perfect world, love without judgment can exist.  But, we don't live in a perfect world.  We lost that a long time ago.  The voice of our moral conscience is there for a reason.  It is our guiding light, our north star, the whisper in our dreams that shows us the way.  Love shouldn't be easy.  Love is our greatest challenge and its the source of our greatest rewards. So go after love, fight for love, discern the path to real love and you will have conquered the world.


Diane AZ said...

Pinterest sounds fascinating, maybe I'll get around to joining now that I know they also have quote sharing. I enjoyed reading your response to the Dalai Lama's quote about love.

sandy said...

I like what you wrote Annie.

I'm kind of in to pininterest but not too much.

I love it though when I browse over there.

SandyCarlson said...

I haven't tried Pinterest, but your enthusiasm has my interest piqued. Your thoughts on the nature of love have me thinking, too.

nonizamboni said...

. . .'Love is our greatest challenge'--what a struggle it is for me. But God's inborn moral compass keeps me sane. Thanks for a very thought provoking post, Annie!
I always appreciate your kind comments.

mansuetude said...

This is interesting.
I think of it more as compassion, to try to keep the heart open to compassion, in the sense that if someone isn't expressing love they are deeply crying out for help somehow, and I can't fix that but I can prevent myself from tipping my inner life into judgement and hate towards other, and be more whole.

There are so many ways of perceiving "love" yes.

Amy Burzese said...

I like Pinterest and had many beautiful boards at one time. I deleted all but one when the issue of "permission" to pin other's stuff came up.

Rosa said...

It's usually an instant, positive thought that pulls me into such quotes and makes me stop and think, even if momentarily, how to try and make myself a better person to myself and others. Of course, we can't live our lives perfectly and lovingly--we are mere mortals--but oh, what a lovely thought. If I can stop and think before judging a person negatively, or vice versa, then this quote has made that moment just a little more positive. I'm getting so tired of all the negativity out there today. It's making me old. I don't need that, doing just fine on my own, thank you very much! Great, thought-provoking piece, Annie!!!