Anduril, Howard Shore, LOTR, (2003)
” … In ordinary life, true love is manifested in willingness to do what pleases the person loved; in conforming oneself to (their) desires, tastes, and will, not willing anything which could displease (the person loved). ” (Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D. from the book “Divine Intimacy” pp 1011).
Considering this statement in relation to my ordinary life … I believe that one could make a solid case for the position that the only persons for which I feel “true love” in ordinary life are “me”, “myself”, and “I”. Looking around at the fabric of society it is apparent that every human relationship seems to be more or less “transactional”.
Is life really just a dynamic real-time cost-benefit analysis involving friend or foe, my team or the other team? Is my/our approach to relationship simply a multi-factorial analysis of “What’s in it for me?”
And if this is the situation “on the ground” so to speak, what about God? If I examine myself attentively I see that my will is very dissimilar to the will of God. God wills only the good, and he wills it in the most perfect manner.
I, on the other hand, often will evil along with the good, and I often lack the strength to actually do the good that I will. And most of the time I am only imperfectly aware of this lack of strength and of my failure to conform to the will of God.
Every time I commit a fault I desire something that God cannot will … so much for “Love of God”. Slothfulness, negligence, impatience, anger, subtle or not so subtle seeking of self, of esteem, of affection, pride, egoism, presumption, self-assurance.
As long as my will desires that which is not conformed completely to the will of God I do not walk in the love of God.
This self examination thing, this honest regard of the image in the mirror of the self is truly “めんどくさい” (mendokusai)” in Japanese, which translates as – “troublesome” or “bothersome”. I still find behaving myself with charity and mercy and listening to the voice of God, and conforming myself to the will of God to be troublesome and bothersome. Not easy to put into practice even though I will the good.
The broken sword of honest self-regard, and self discipline must be reforged for battle … Ad Aeternitatum.