Duty and Love

Falling in love while I was still a nun complicated things and helped me think about myself in a different way” Mary Johnson, in “An Unquenchable Thirst.”

Mary Johnson describes her life as a nun…and her falling in love with someone other than God…and her surprise at this. And yes, this “falling in love” was one of the reasons she left her religious order.

Yet we shouldn’t be surprised by falling in love. If we love God, when we feel His Love for us, then we love even more..we love Him more and our capacity for love of others is heightened.

This is not a romantic love but a selfless love. 

Fr James Martin, in his book of his priestly vocation,  In Good Company,  writes of celibacy and chastity…As a Jesuit, he discusses his vows of chastity, poverty, obedience and says ” …even chastity does not preclude one from falling into love..Falling in love and being in love are both gifts from God. Its a question of what you do….A chaste person tries, like Jesus did, to love as many people as possible.”

I think the same could be said of those of us in the vocation of marriage…we love our spouses, we love our children and we also love others. First we are loved by God, then we love others. 

It has  taken that awhile to dawn on me…

Where am I going with this? 

A son and I discussed love and duty. How the two are intertwined. We love . Sometimes we act solely out of Love. Sometimes we act because we feel loved, and we feel His Love. And sometimes we act out of duty.

We act regardless of falling in or falling out of love. 

As Fr Martin says…it’s a question of what we do. 

Our Lord has created persons for all states in life, and in all of them we see people who who achieved sanctity by fulfilling their obligations well.” St Anthony Mary Claret

There hasn’t been a lot of talk lately about duty..we talk instead of love, of doing things out of love. 

I find the two go hand in hand..we live and act out of love and out of duty.

Duty need not be can be a result of love, it can lead to love or to enhancing love. 

Love and duty keep our lives in order..I love and I do what I ought. 

The Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us of this positive bent…the ‘commandment is expressed in positive terms of duties to be fulfilled.’ (2198)

Positive duties. 

4 thoughts on “Duty and Love”

  1. Not old fashioned at all, but sadly not seen as fashionable. Duty has been shoved aside for self, and it's a pity, because that results in more people who are primarily focused on self and society suffers. Sometimes duty is hard, but often it does lead to peace – and joy.

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