Fr Roland - September 2012

posted 15 Oct 2012, 11:27 by Richard Jones   [ updated 15 Oct 2012, 11:27 ]

Dear Friends,

How time flies when the summer break comes for many of us, but now its that time of year when our children return to school, start school for the first time, move onto secondary education and some leaving home to go onto university, and the best of luck to all of them. But who can forget the magical moments of the Olympics (not including the closing ceremony music) and Para Olympics, a time when young people from all over the world meet, compete and share lifes experiences. WHY can’t it be always like that .. neighbours in harmony and love in its widest sense. 

Jesus said, 'You must love your neighbour as yourself.' Only when we accept ourselves as fundamentally good, and begin to love ourselves, will we be able to start loving other people as the Lord commanded.

Those who are filled with self-loathing and self-hatred are not going to be able to love others. They will project these feelings onto others. They will blame and castigate others for what they do not like in themselves.

An old man was sitting on a bench at the edge of town when a stranger approached. 'What are the people in this town like?' the stranger asked.

'What were they like in your last town?' replied the old man.

'They were kind, generous, and would do anything for you if you were in trouble.'

'Well, I think you will find them much the same in this town.' 

Sometime later a second stranger approached the old man and asked the same question: 'What are the people in this town like?'

And the old man replied: 'What were they like in the town you have come from?'

'It was a terrible place, to tell you the truth, I was glad to get out of it. The people were mean, unkind, and nobody would lift a finger to help you if you were in trouble.'

'I'm afraid,' said the old man, 'you will find them much the same in this town.' 

Why use this old story, well the main point is this. We see other people not as they are but as we are. If we see people in a bad light, it is a sign that we are ill at ease with ourselves. A person who is not at peace with his or her self spreads a contagion of conflict around themselves. 

Unless we love ourselves we cannot love others properly. You can't fly without wings,  You can't grow without roots. We can't offer warmth to others if our own fireplace is cold and empty. We can only love with the amount of love that is in us. Whether we are conscious of it or not, we do love others precisely as we love ourselves. 

It is very important, then, to have a healthy love and respect for ourselves. This is where love starts, but is not meant to end there. All true love of self overflows in the form of love of others and of God.

It is easy to love certain people because they are loveable. But not so easy to love others, who are flawed. But that is the real test of love.

Where there no love, sow love, and you will reap love. Where there is no love, put love, and you will find love. 

What a wonderful place our world would be if all of us could learn to love as God intended. 

Fr Roland.