Invest in Love in 2014


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C.S. Lewis writes in The Four Loves:

There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket—safe, dark, motionless, airless—it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.

As we approach the new year, let us take some time to pray in quiet solitude. Ask God what He really wants from you. Then ask yourself, how are you holding yourself back from the person God wants you to be? Where you spend your time, money, and energy will tell you where you have made your investment. Have you made yours in love? No one is perfect; we all have our failings and vices that hold us back from becoming saints. Be sure to take this time to identify those weak spots, go to confession if you need to, and then formulate solutions around them.

I have heard far too often from people who hide behind their temperaments or use them as excuses for not living fulfilling lives. Not everyone understands that these categories were created by researchers solely for the purpose of research. While it’s great we have researchers to identify these areas of our lives so that we can know ourselves and each other better, that’s all it is: knowledge. It in no way is meant to restrict and confine us to our own little boxes. Once we’ve acquired knowledge, however, we’ve also acquired the responsibility to use it wisely. This means we can’t stunt our own growth by excusing, “Well I’m a shy person. That’s just who I am. I just wait for others to approach me.” Or even, “I’m a people person. I have to be around people all the time. I hate being by myself.” The categories and definitions just provide the knowledge that we need in order to grow. Once you’ve used that knowledge to acquire new information about yourself, your next task is to do something about it.

This year, pick specific situations in which you can practice getting over your fear or discomfort. If you’re shy, instead of declining the next social function, say yes. If you haven’t initiated contact with someone on CatholicMatch in a while, do it now. If you’re used to being the life of the party and the center of attention, stay home. Give a second look over some of the people who have viewed your profile or sent you a message, and give them a second chance. If you’re obsessed with maintaining your budget so you can keep your savings, be generous this year, and in place of your savings, donate the money. If you’re really great at making your regular holy hours and Mass times, try performing works of service for the sick, elderly, or new mothers. If you’re having a hard time maintaining a daily prayer schedule, just pick one simple prayer to begin. My husband, Alex, and I like to use the Byzantine Jesus prayer, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”  It’s a simple prayer, but when practiced enough, every breath becomes a prayer.

If you haven’t been finding dates through CatholicMatch, try a different approach. Update photos and information on your profile. When I first joined CatholicMatch I had no intention of dating anyone. I just wanted to meet like-minded Catholics and know there were others out there like me in cyberspace. While I was uncomfortable with the online dating scene, and even more uncomfortable with dating again so soon (I had just ended a serious long-term relationship), I went through the motions anyway. Because I forced myself to do that, I met Alex.  While I tried to discourage him from dating the mess that I felt I was at the time, he persisted, and he was patient. Now three lovely souls exist because we embraced courage over fear.

Don’t let knowledge hold you back. Pain is going to be part of your life, no matter what path you choose. But if you choose love, it will also lead you to the greatest joy on earth. Make love your investment in 2014.






14 Comments

  1. Thank you for a lovely post!

  2. Jenny-584403 January 3, 2014

    Beautifully written! Thank you!

  3. Tony-705734 January 3, 2014

    A couple things I have to comment on:

    1. the quote at the beginning isn’t taking in to affect the love one has for the family one has already. To say what was stated seems to sound like if one is completely heartless, even for family, there is no love there, have fun in hell.

    2. The quote also seems to dictate that one isn’t open to a relationship and all the stuff that goes with it, you won’t be a caring person at all in life. This is wrong. There are plenty of singles out there that do things that show they care.

    2. You state, “Ask God what He really wants from you.” What if someone has, and there is nothing from God? Where should they fall back to from there?

    • Dan-1002097 January 4, 2014

      I don’t think you read the quote as Lewis had meant it to be read, Tony.

      For the part after “If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must…”, I am certain he was not advocating for or against the emotional exclusion and seclusion described. Instead he is bluntly illustrating what are the naturally occurring hazards of any loving involvement with anyone…family, friends, and strangers included… and contrasting that to allowing hurtful events to drive someone into emotional retreat. Take your choice. But, as for God…well, He is Love. That’s what Lewis meant.

      Look for a book he wrote, titled “The Great Divorce”.

      • Tony-705734 January 5, 2014

        Well, I can’t be the only one that read that quote that way. I’m just the first to speak about it. The quote, like the rest of the article, seems to come off as if the person who is single is being selfish, especially if they are hurt and have barriers up to prevent from being hurt again. Another quote should have been used to better illustrate what the author of the blog meant.

        • Dan-1002097 January 5, 2014

          I agree with you. It’s a provocative quote, and Ms Kubik could have set the context for it more plainly, for people not used to Lewis’s style. By her own account, had it not been for the persistence of her guy, she could still be nurturing her past hurts (and the hate that implies) in that darkening “twilight city” Lewis uses as a metaphor for Hell in the book I suggested.

          Maybe before this thread dies out, Tony, we will see some thoughtful reflections on all this from some of the CM ladies…do ya’ think? :wink:

        • Hey Tony,

          I’ve heard this quote many times in different places and I see now that it can be read in two different ways. Lewis definitely didn’t mean to damn singles. He only meant to warn those who close themselves off from love to avoid being hurt that isolation will not ultimately bring them the happiness or peace they hope for. Probably most people on CM, like yourself, are not closing themselves off from love, but some of them might be. This is a good reminder for them.

  4. Rosa-849462 January 4, 2014

    Thank you for sharing!

  5. Jorge-443462 January 4, 2014

    Thank you Gracias for sharing, Obrigado, muito veces

  6. Nate-876655 January 5, 2014

    Great post!

  7. Great advice for those of us who at some point closed the doors to love.

  8. Thank you for a great post. good reminder for all of us to be open minded and get over the fear of dating again. Hope 2014 is good to all of us.

  9. Ger-953429 January 7, 2014

    What a great post!Love is all that matters.

  10. Rose-1050006 January 13, 2014

    Thanks. This is enlightening!

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