Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Driving home from Mass, the car in front of me caught my eye. First off, it was a Mustang. Secondly, they had a window stick that said "Got courage? Let go and let God."

That totally took me by surprise! I'd never really thought that courage could consist of letting go and trusting God. I mean, it makes sense when you actually think about, but the thought had never occurred to me. I often pray for courage, and I often pray for trust in God, but I'd never prayed with them both in mind.

Officially, the definition of courage is doing something that scares you. It's scary letting go, especially of future hopes and dreams, or of loved ones, or really anything for that matter. That's what God calls us to do though. If we let go, that means we're acknowledging that there's Someone out there who knows better. And I don't know about you, but trusting that the Creator of the Universe has a plan sounds like a good idea to me.

Courage: letting go and letting God work. That's what's up.

Thursday, February 14, 2013


I've been reading Love And Responsibility by Pope John Paul II. It's an amazing book! He walks through, step by step, the fundamentals of human behavior in relationships, breaks down the various types of love that exist, and how explains how love develops. For example, he says "Love is always a sort of interpersonal synthesis and synchronization of attraction, desire, and goodwill."

JP II explains that love progresses from sympathy, to friendship, to betrothed love, to reciprocal love. He defines sympathy as "experiencing together." Next, friendship occurs, which requires shared experiences in order to grow. After friendship, betrothed love occurs, where each member of the relationship begins to make sacrifices to please the other. Finally, it progresses to reciprocal love, where "the acts of surrender reciprocate each other...they combine to produce a perfect whole, an act of mutual self-surrender." Reciprocal love is true love.

Here's where it gets even better. He comments on the battle between the sexual instinct and reciprocal love. "The sexual instinct wants above all to take over, to make use of another person, whereas love wants to give, to create a good, to bring happiness." That's why love should be based on friendship, as well as physical attraction; both are needed to balance each other out. He mentions that, since true love desires the unlimited good of another, it's a divine aspect of love because "to desire unlimited good for another person is really to desire God for that person: He alone is the objective fullness of the good, and only His goodness can fill every man to overflowing." Beautiful!

Part of the reason that I find this so fascinating is because I've seen it in my own life. I also like the idea that man has a higher nature, that we're called to strive towards, that is actually attainable. True love affirms the value of a person, and shows that a person "possesses spiritual perfectibility" and is more than "merely a 'body' magnificently endowed with life." Looking at love this way gives so much more meaning to life and is incredibly powerful. It explains why we spend our lives searching for another person to love us so passionately, and how it draws us out of our animalistic nature. I'm amazed and humbled that I've been on the receiving end of this love.

One of my goals is to move to reciprocal love with Jesus. That's my focus for this Lent. I encourage you to think about it too. And read Love And Responsibility! It will change your life for the better.