|Heart Of Stone|
Question from Brittney on 01-15-2013:
I recently started going back to church after a history of doing some bad things. I’m a participant of an RCIA program where we are reading “The Luke E. Hart Series: Basic Elements of the Catholic Faith,” which is based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church. I recently read in the sixth booklet of the series (about the Holy Spirit), where in one paragraph it says that “Everyone wants True Love.”
When I hear statements like that, I feel alienated because I don’t feel a connection, or that I relate to that statement. I’m in my early twenties, and I’ve never felt that married life was for me, or that being in love was what life as about. I’ve never been able to picture myself with anyone, and I shy away from seeing people be affectionate with each other. I honestly think that the way people my age portray love is pretty superficial. And I can’t even say “I love you” to my own parents and mean it. I do care about them and what happens to them, and I like being with them, and spending time with them, but “I love you” is a phrase I feel disconnected from, even in regards to family. And despite my believing that they are the best family I could ever have , and thanking God for having them as my family, it makes me feel guilty that I don’t even love my own family as I ought to.
And this discourages me because it tells me that if God is calling us to love Him and to love everyone as He has loved us, then my not knowing or feeling love keeps me far away from God. Although I remind myself while praying that I cannot seek Our Lord Jesus Christ without encountering love, for He himself says that He is Love, I am saddened sometimes because we are taught that everyone wants love, yet that doesn’t ring true for me. I remember a passage in the Bible that mentions having a heart of stone. Is that what I have? How do I reconcile with this?
|Answer by Fr. John Echert on 01-16-2013:|
It is true that God created us to love and serve Him, in this life and in the next. That is a great starting point, and was the fundamental truth taught in earlier catechisms. First, please do not be discouraged. First of all, many folks confuse emotion and/or lust for love. The love that God created us for is primarily charity, that is, supernatural love, that comes only from Him as Source. If you love your parents, whether or not you say that is irrelevant and probably a matter of your own upbringing within the family and your personal "persona." To love God means that we will to be with Him and not offend Him, especially by sin. And do not confuse love with a particular vocation; perhaps you are not called to marriage, as are many. Just continue to follow the prescriptions of the Church, seek holiness and develop a spiritual life, with the help of good books and practices. One book I recommend is by St. Francis, DeSalles: Introduction to the Devout Life. Read just one little section per day. Hope this helps.|