The sacrifice of authentic love

“Pray that in finding love you also find the courage to be vulnerable and make sacrifices.” –Katie Hartfiel

In order to properly love someone, you should pray for the grace to answer the demands that entails. Real love is not easy.

Love, before any emotions, feelings, attractions, desires, and sentiment, has a call to deny yourself and do what’s best for the person you love. Love cannot be just be a feeling but an ability.

An ability to put what you want aside and put what the other persons needs first. An ability to be patient, not to be jealous, arrogant, rude, or irritable with the person, but to bear all things, hope all things, and endure all things (1 Corinthians 13).

To want heaven for the person you love.

John Paul II reminds us that yes, real love is demanding, but it’s the demands that make love beautiful and worthwhile.

He says, “There is no place for selfishness and no place for fear! Do not be afraid when love requires sacrifice.”

Love and relationships are an opportunity to embark on a path towards holiness. Jesus died to himself because He loves us and wants to have a relationship with us.  His love for us was so deep–so incomprehensible– that we are called to love as He loves in order to experience the depths of His sacrifice–and that’s where our vocations come in because they are the means in which we get a taste for that love. Vocations are calls to love– a mini Calvary, if you will.

Vocations aside, God is going to take every act of love and put it to good use. He’ll open the depths of our hearts, shed our ego, help us grow in grace, virtue, and touch the surface of His divine love. The more submission and surrender one has in Him, to honor his will, the more one learns to sacrifice and understand this authentic love.

In a world of instant gratification, and sexual satisfaction, ridding a pleasurable desire is a tough habit to break from. Although, it is in that power of self-control that the rewards of tasting true love come. Following them are glorious—and heroic. The Gospel calls us to greatness and through that call we cannot do those actions alone because we can only handle so much until we fall without the grace to help us.

Because truthfully, any thing worth doing in life is hard. The best things in life are obtained through trial, suffering, and self-denial.

And if there is anything I know that is worth working the hardest for, it’s love. Love that is demanding and brings out a side of ourselves we never knew possible. One that uncovers the truth, beauty, and sacrifice of our entire self.

God wouldn’t create a lifestyle He doesn’t deliver grace to live—it’s a battle sometimes, but we are called to push through. To come out victorious.

We are all created to uncover the demands love makes because our hearts are made for it. Do not be afraid to rid the old ways, start over, take risks, and learn to destroy selfishness and fear all for the sake of true, authentic, and beautiful love.

Really great love is out there but one must work for it. So if a call to let love persevere, through God’s invitation, comes into your life, embrace and “work-out” the demands of love so that you can experience what your relationship with God consists of. The fulfillment is breathtaking.

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