Thursday, December 08, 2005

Love According to Linus

But first, a quote from Dorothy Day, social activist and founder of the Catholic Worker movement. She died 25 years ago.

It is not love in the abstract that counts. Men have loved a cause as they have loved a woman. They have loved the brotherhood, the workers, the poor, the oppressed - but they have not loved [humanity]; they have not loved the least of these. They have not loved "personally." It is hard to love. It is the hardest thing in the world, naturally speaking. Have you ever read Tolstoy's "Resurrection?" He tells of political prisoners in a long prison train, enduring chains and persecution for the love of their brothers, ignoring those same brothers on the long trek to Siberia. It is never the brothers right next to us, but the brothers in the abstract that are easy to love.

And here is a quote from the late cartoonist, Charles Schultz, said through Peanuts character, Linus. Linus stands with thumb in mouth and blanket in hand, as he often does. The "balloon" over his head shares his thought.

I love mankind. It's PEOPLE I can't stand.

Dorothy Day and Linus have some insight in common.

The Bible tells us that if we say we love God but do not love our brother and sisters (those near to us) that we really do not love God. So I am pondering the question: Who is near to me that I am having a difficult time loving? I expect you have one or two of those too. I am going to find a specific way to love "actually" and not just in the abstract. Any ideas?

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