Is my love selfish?

As human persons, there is always a profound craving—deep within us—for love. Since we are made by God, the deepest love we long for is communion with Him (hence the sacramental gift of Himself in physical communion; the Eucharist). We are created by a thought of love, from Love Himself, and the very fulfillment of our lives is to give and receive love to others and God.

Let that sink in for a moment.

Every act directed as a communion with others is an act of empathy, unity, and intimacy. Even God (who is Love) is a communion of persons; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Fulton Sheen once said “In obeying Jesus, His followers should be representing in an unbloody manner that which He presented to His Father in the bloody sacrifice of Calvary. After changing the bread and the wine into Himself, He gave it to others. By that communion they were made one with Christ—for love craves unity.”

We will never be able to tap into the depths of the intense love Christ felt—a love that He thought we were worth dying for, until we too are open to His love with others by unselfish intentions to unite with others in intimacy. And this, in no way, is not synonymous to sex.

“We are what we repeatedly do.” –Aristotle

The desire for love can be selfishly manipulated by lust—an ample desire to conquer and gain at the expense of sexual desire. Engaging in sexual intimacy without commitments (hooking-up and casual sex) and stimulation of our bodies by means of impure actions alone, or through the use of pornography can’t be described as a total-self donation of love because you’re acting selfishly. No commitments–no other person, no unity. In what way are these actions allowing you to give part of yourself to another person?

Be careful with lustful actions. If they are repeatedly done, like Aristotle says, they become you. Not only that, but these actions have the affects of grave sin which always lower ones ability to live fully for God (love).

The desire for love can be manipulated also by our lack of true intents in charitable actions. Are we self-seeking in our motives to do or give to our friends, charities, or organizations? Do we earnestly desire the good of another or are we keeping them around for selfish reasons?

I’ll admit, the love of Christ is hard to comprehend. So, let’s pray and ask ourselves this; what is the best way, right now, I can try to comprehend such a selfless love?

On an earthly level, God gave us the ability to understand the depths of that love by means of the sacrament of marriage. The love between a married couple, for better or worse, in sickness and health, is such a deep visible sign of loving unity. How sad though, that it comes with baggage like divorce and trust issues. Our Lord was never afraid to risk it all with us. Couples unmotivated to lay down their lives for the sake of each other’s well-being is disheartening.

This loving unity is expressed further for the two. Fulton Sheen writes more on that quote saying, “The highest peak of love in the human order is the unity of husband and wife in the flesh.” Not because they want to take from each other, but because they freely gave themselves away to each other with a lifelong promise—“this is my body, given up for you.” By this union, husband and wife are a communion, made one with each other as one flesh (Genesis 2:24), offered to each other as a gift of their love for each other.

So going back to that idea that “we are what we repeatedly do” and “how can I comprehend God’s love” I offer a call to embark on actions of genuine love. If done repeatedly, they consume our hearts with nothing but goodness.

We all know what vices, habits, wounds, hurts, or ideas we need to rid ourselves of to give love totally. We too can overcome what shell of egotism needs to break in ourselves.

Forgiveness of ourselves or others, the fears of being forgotten after offering love, offering love in general and not holding back, deciding not to participate in lustful habits, or not seeking gratification from others, to name a few.

I bet you, whatever it is you need to work on to rid selfishness for the sake of loving unity with God or others—Jesus felt too. And gratefully, we can call on Him for advice on how to rid those fears that come with the demands that cost us real love.

The divine love that satisfies our every being can be experienced on Earth if we truly want it and are open to it by our actions, intentions, thoughts, and prayers.

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