Thought of the Day August 26, 2020 Love: joy and pain

By 9:50 AM


“Every time we make the decision to love someone, we open ourselves to great suffering, because those we most love cause us not only great joy but also great pain. The greatest pain comes from leaving. When the child leaves home, when the husband or wife leaves for a long period of time or for good, when the beloved friend departs to another country or dies … the pain of the leaving can tear us apart.

Still, if we want to avoid the suffering of leaving, we will never experience the joy of loving. And love is stronger than fear, life stronger than death, hope stronger than despair. We have to trust that the risk of loving is always worth taking.” (Henri Nouwen)


The mystery of true love involves the mystery of pain. For in loving the other we may feel rejection or non-love in return. The other may not be able to love us as we would wish or to the same decree as we love. Their love may initially excite me but in time become routine or infrequent. Still I am urged to love by God.


Jesus felt this pain in his life. In spite of his tremendous love for each of the twelve disciples, each caused him great suffering when they abandoned him at that time of his arrest, suffering and death. Still, he loved them, not holding their abandonment against them. For he loved them for their sake, not his. He gave his all for them not expecting anything in return. So he does for each of us as a path to follow.  The pain of love does not outweigh the joy of love. That joy is not in or from the other but in and from God, who is love.

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