Love is not loved

In her signature for Omnes, Lupita Venegas says that to be an imitator of Christ is to do things as He would do them: to love Love.

April 5, 2024-Reading time: 3 minutes

Two people shake hands (Unsplash / Chris Liverani).

In one of his audiences, Pope Francis lamented our incoherence: "Humanity, which prides itself on its advances in science, lags behind when it comes to weaving peace. It is a champion of war" he said.

We hear about the war in Ukraine, in Gaza, Sudan... there is war in different parts of the world. In our countries and cities: drug trafficking, missing persons, human trafficking. At the family level infidelities, scandals, divorces. On a personal level: anguish, anxiety, stress and depression.

Recently a woman told me that she would defend her inheritance "no matter who falls". Her parents had not distributed the property as she would have done, and in the face of what she considered an injustice, she decided to act, even committing injustice if necessary. Where does peace begin, where does war begin?

Responsible for peace

An event in the life of St. Francis of Assisi can give us the key to achieve the world we all want; a world without war, without injustice, without fear. One in solidarity, responsible, in peace.

St. Bonaventure narrates that St. Francis went to the palace of Sultan Malik al Kamil in Egypt to meet with him. It was the year 1219, the time of the Fifth Crusade and the Muslim people were fighting with the Christians for the holy places.

The sultan received him courteously and asked him: "Why do Christians want peace and make war, because love is not loved," replied the poor boy from Assisi.

St. Francis went to the Sultan as a witness of peace, seeking dialogue and renouncing violence. With absolute trust in God. He achieved, by the way, a temporary peace and the initiative of the Sultan himself to live a truce that was rejected by the Christians.

To love God, the source of love, is to do His will. We know what God wants through the Holy Scriptures. In them we find the 10 commandments, the beatitudes, the works of mercy and the commandment of love. This desire of God is not to be interpreted as a call for others but for me. For me! If I love God, I immediately want to love my brothers and sisters. To love Love is to love my neighbor and myself.

Giving peace

We cannot go on waiting for others to give us that peace for which our heart yearns. It is not the other: your spouse, your children, your co-workers, the authorities, the political systems...if you want peace, you must first give it. How to do it?

  • On a personal level. Value yourself and treat yourself as if you were your best friend. Cultivate good habits.
  • At home. Remember that war is not in the offense received but in the offense answered. If someone does or says something that makes you uncomfortable, do not respond with violence but with peace. Be assertive, ask for what you need without offending.
  • At work (or school). Be the change you want to see, as Mahatma Ghandi said. We are responsible for the environments in which we operate. In your work or school do not gossip, do not attack others in conversations with others or in social networks. Be conciliatory with your comments and try to be a team player. Make sure your work is well done, always give a little more than what is asked of you.
  • In your civil community. Respect the laws and encourage encounters with those in need. Get involved in an organized social service or organize one.
  • In your religious community. Participate in prayer, formation and apostolic activities to which you are invited. Do it with responsibility and fulfill what you are committed to. 
  • In your country. Be a responsible citizen, vote for the authorities you trust, the ones that look after the genuine common good.

May I want to be an imitator of Christ. May I do things as Christ would do them. Love Love Love! St. Paul reminds us: in fact, peace is identified with Jesus Christ himself who is our peace (Ef 2, 14-15).

The authorLupita Venegas

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