By Cass DuCharme

published in Family Matters eNewsletter, May 25, 2017

There has been a lot of news lately that lacks love, the bombings at the concert in Manchester, England the most recent. News at its core seems much more negative than positive. Oh, there is always the occasional feel-good story that seems to put things into perspective, but for the most part, the news we see and hear lacks a lot of love. As you may note by my last name, I am of French descent. We Frenchmen, as you know, are lovers not fighters. Not just as a Frenchman but also as a person of faith I am prone to love first. Love… now that’s a word I wish we heard a little more in the news.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning said it this way:

“Let me count the ways. I love thee to the depth and breadth and
height My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight For the ends of
being and ideal grace. I love thee to the level of every day's most
quiet need, by sun and candle-light. I love thee freely, as men strive
for right.”

Although Ms. Browning wrote it much more eloquently than I can, I feel that love at its core is not only a positive feeling but also a positive action. It is not only saying that we love someone but showing that love through our actions.

When Jesus was asked which commandment was the greatest he simply said, “Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength and love your neighbor as yourself.” He then followed up by sharing the story of the “Good Samaritan”. In those days, Samaritans were anything but “good”. They were half bloods that were despised by the Jews. But Jesus used them to describe how to show love. Well, does that mean that we’re supposed to really love our enemies and do good to those who hate us? As a follower of Jesus, I would have to say Yes. 

Did you see how the people of Manchester responded to the bombing? They gathered peacefully, showing their love for one another and for those affected by the tragedy. Oh, by the way, in the crowd there were Christians, Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, atheists, and people all over the political spectrum gathered together in love.

As I was reading my devotion the other day I came across this
Thomas Merton quote: “The beginning of love is the will to let those we love be perfectly
themselves, the resolution not to twist them to fit our own image. If in loving them we do not love what they are, but only their potential likeness to ourselves, then we do not love them: we only love the reflection of ourselves we find in them.” 

Read that quote one more time please.

From what I understand, every human being is made unique and in the image of God. All God asks us to do is to love God and love each other, period.

How do I love thee?
As a Frenchman and a child of God, I simply love you.