“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.
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)