Conversation Corner
Family Corner (Loving Our Enemies --May 2003)

Love is a decision, not just a feeling. Discuss the difference between loving and liking someone.


Date: 5/23/2003 8:44:57 AM
Name or Pseudonym: Pat
Subject: Prayer Warrior

"if you love in the Christian sense then your response/feelings reflect that...respect, kindness, patience, forgiveness, consideration, etc..."

I agree that your response reflects that. Response (ie reply/action) is NOT the same as feelings. May I ask if you feel love for Osama Bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, Hitler, Stalin? I do not. However, as a Catholic I pray for their souls and hope that they will reach eternal happiness. That is what I am required to do by the Church, and I do it willingly. I would not wish to see anyone damned.

"it is a choice you make to live what the meaning of love is and feelings are a result of that practice..."

I agree with the first part of the sentence. As for the second, I simply cannot agree, and nor does the Church demand if of me. If, however, you can assure me that your love for the 4 individuals named above has resulted in feelings of love for them, then I take my hat off to you.

"you canít depend on warm fuzzy feelings to sustain love..."

How true. Forgive me, but I think you are making a huge assumption here. The words "warm and fuzzy" are not inextricably linked with feelings. "My delight is to be with the children of men". God told us of His glee, His happiness, His "feelings".
They certainly aren’t warm and fuzzy!

The idea of someone making a "choice" and deliberately refusing to "feel" is ludicrous and, I believe, impossible). The whole problem with feelings is that you can’t help feeling them! And you can’t "choose" to feel. We are not computers, thank God. However, to reiterate,you can choose how to behave. It is our duty to behave in a loving Christian way to others. We don’t have to "feel" to do so. That’s how it’s possible for Mother Teresa and others to do what they do.

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