Wednesday, June 19, 2013

I Believe in Love: "Ti Voglio Bene"

In everything seek the Lord. Have I? This is, for me, the ever burning question. It is the one that leaves me up at night or up again very early in the morning, unable to fall back to sleep.

Hatred is a terrible sin that hardens the heart, but even greater a sin and more invidious is that of envy. If hatred can be called a sin of wishing ill of another or of destruction of what is good, then envy is the wholesale desire to possess a good inordinately for oneself, a spiritual gluttony that manifests far more easily and passes any censor or filter of the heart. It is not merely a shadow of worry but a constant danger lest we refuse to love as we ought in its proper time and place with the prudence that the heart knows. Envy breaks down the rule of compassion and foists up a ruler whose heart is possession and want. It has no place at Love's table.

So, I believe in Love. But do I believe in the totality of Love? It isn't enough to not have hatred, though this is a sort of proto-love. We must also "wish good unto others." Or as the Italians have a phrase: "ti voglio bene." It is a phrase that comes originally from Latin which means loosely, "I care so much of you that I wish the best for you," or more closely: "I want your good." It is among the many translations for the English, "I love you."

It is of little surprise they use these words for their Beloved. So must I.

So must I, as I read this past weekend's Gospel reading on Saturday: "Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No’ mean ‘No.’ Anything more is from the evil one." (cf. Matthew 5:37) So must I, as I saw others do this weekend in speaking their vows and thus undertaking them, if not yet fully understanding what those vows fully mean. To take courage and say "yes" and truly mean it is far worth every "no" that is meant so as to have another ready to believe in Love and act forthrightly to live it and to "make good to the Lord all that you vow." (cf. Matthew 5:33, Psalm 50:14) So must we believe in Love. Amen.

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