Letters From a Young Catholic

My reflections as a Catholic young adult passionate about the Faith, seeking to grow in knowledge and understanding of God and discerning the will of the Lord in my life.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

How do you show the authentic love of Christ?

The theme question for the past few weeks for me has been how to live in charity, loving others, but without sending the wrong message. How is one to live a life of integrity, sincerely loving others? How do you show the authentic love of Christ?

You see, the problem isn't so much the loving bit. The problem is to send the appropriate message with my love, which really is not my own, but comes from Heaven.

First, there's the guy situation. How do you deal with a guy that likes you when you're not interested in him, yet want to show the love of Christ? Any act of charity gets misinterpreted as affection and romantic interest. What to do with the guy who makes himself vulnerable and shares his broken life while expressing his romantic interest in you? One cannot just reject them. Leave them open and wounded, crying out for love and standing alone. To show the love of Christ, yet without sending mixed messages. That's not easy. How do you show the authentic love of Christ?

Then there's another context that arises. Completely different. Other persons entirely. Yet ultimately the same question will arise. How to deal with the prostitute and the adulteress who turns to you for friendship, support, and encouragement. To condemn the sin and love the sinner is not always easy. How do you reinforce their dignity as human persons, yet make it clear that what has been done is wrong, and at the same time not be judgemental? When one can see the Truth of God's plan for humanity, how painful it is to see the rot of sin in society. Yet to love the sinner. To be the person who chooses to speak with the prostitutes and adultresses. Not to cast stones upon them. Yet condemn their acts. That's not easy. How do you show the authentic love of Christ?