Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Love is Mandatory, 'Like' is Optional: Praying for Peace in Iraq

"1 First of all, then, I ask that supplications, prayers, petitions, and thanksgivings be offered for everyone,

"for kings and for all in authority, that we may lead a quiet and tranquil life in all devotion and dignity. "
(2 Timothy 1-2)
A post on Google Plus (August 25, 2014) let me know about Bishop Saad Sirop Hanna's challenge or request for a half-hour of prayer before the Blessed Sacrament at a particular time today.
The time was 6:00 p.m. Iraq time. Here in Sauk Centre, Minnesota, that's 10:00 a.m. — and there's a Eucharistic adoration chapel about a half-mile north of my home.

(Me, at the Eucharistic adoration chapel in Sauk Centre, Minnesota, this morning.)

It didn't take me 30 minutes to go through both prayers I found: one from the Chaldean Catholic Patriarch of Iraq; the other from Pope Francis. I spent the rest of the time 'praying' in the sense that I thought about what needs to happen: in the world, and in me.

Basically, we need to:
It's like my Lord said:
..."24 The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.' "
(Matthew 22:40)
Loving my neighbor is mandatory. Liking my neighbor is optional. Approving of what my neighbor does is occasionally impossible: particularly when my neighbor does something I know is wrong.

Loving disapproval isn't the beam-in-my-eye hypocrisy of Matthew 7:1-5, and that's another topic.

I hope and pray that Iraq, and the world, learns how to settle conflicts with reason, justice, and mercy. My guess is that cobbling together a globe-spanning 'Council of Humanity' will take centuries. But I think it will be worth the effort. And that's yet another topic.

Maybe you've had enough of my ideas for now.

If not, here's part of my take on taking 'love of neighbor' seriously:


Don Quijot said...

Good blog, good thoughts, Brian.
Thank you for writing and sharing it with us.
Only one thing that I believe: There is Love not only a mandatory, but also the only one option. Like is a word that real Christians should not may have or need to use in our whole life. That word 'like', 'liking' has been invent probably by atheists and similar kind of people (which we have many in our neighborhood, sadly enough).
Those neighbors are exactly 'that neighbors' that we should LOVE even more than ourselves, so we can teach them this, actually, holy word on a right way. So they may open their eyes and hearts and souls and they finally may become a real part of a real human community.
God bless you, me and especially often and much, all our neighbors.

Brian Gill said...

Thank you, Don Quijot.

I agree, that love is the only viable option. Since we have free will - - - well, we can make appallingly imprudent decisions.

What you said about "like" and "liking" got me curious - I'll get back to that.

Also agreed, that loving the unlikable is necessary.

About "like:" although folks can, and have, misused the term - it has a long history. ( http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/like#Etymology_1 )

Apparently our word "like" comes from Middle English and Old English - and meant "to please, be sufficient." That word came from a Proto-Germanic word that meant "to please" - - - which is still pretty close to our 'I like hamburgers.' ;)

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