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Chapter 7 “Love: Seeking Good for Others

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1 Chapter 7 “Love: Seeking Good for Others

2 Section A: “Attend and Reflect” (Pages 123—130)
1. What is the most important choice in a Christian’s life? The choice to love, to choose love as the focus of one’s life. 2. What did Jesus say were the greatest commandments? “The first is … ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, `You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no greater commandment than these.” (Mark 12:29) 3. What people are called liars by St. John in his letter? Those who say, “I love God,” and hate their brother or sister.

3 4. Give an inclusion definition of love, and briefly explain
each part. Love means to seek and then foster the good of others in the context of their concrete situations. To seek and foster: To love means to be active, to find out what the other person needs and then use our power to do something about that need. The good of others: The good of others is the same good that we would want for ourselves. In the context of their concrete situations: Love respects a person as he/she is—not what we might wish her or him to be. When we love another person, we affirm that the other has value and that her or his development and needs are as important as our own.

4 5. Supply an answer to the question: “Why care?”
We are compelled by our very nature to love. We feel incomplete, limited, and threatened without love Caring relationships are the only ways to fill the emptiness inside us. Love is life-giving, both for the one loved and the lover. Life becomes centered and purposeful when we use our talents, skills, intellect, and emotions for the ones we love. Without love for others, we are nothing. Summary: “What is Love?” Love comes in many forms, but can be defined generally as seeking and then fostering the good of others in the context of their concrete situations. For Christians, the choice to love is the most important decision of our life. Without love, says St. Paul, we are nothing. (CCC, #1604, 1822—1827, 2196.)

5 Section B: “Types of Love” (Pages 130—137)
1. What is self-love? Why do people have a hard time loving themselves? Self-love begins with self-acceptance, the discovery and valuing of the qualities we possess and who we are. Self-love fosters our best qualities in the context in which we find ourselves. People have a hard time loving themselves for a variety of reasons. One significant cause is the false messages given by others and by our culture about what constitutes worthiness, such as how much money they make, how well they do in school, where they live, how beautiful or handsome they are, how much attention they receive, and so on. These things, however, have nothing to do with God’s view of human value; God love us just as we are.

6 2. What is erotic love? Erotic love is the desire two people have for union of their bodies and souls, hearts and minds; it goes beyond mere sexual attraction. 3. Briefly describe the pitfalls of romantic love. One pitfall of romantic love is infatuation, a situation in which we get caught up in an emotional whirlwind that hinders our clear perception and good judgment. Infatuation is romantic love with shallow roots; often the two people are so enamored with the thrill of infatuation that they fail to really discover each other. Another problem related to romantic love is the phenomenon of idolizing another person—seeing him/her as perfect and wonderful! The answer to all prayers and dreams! In treating someone as idol, we do not really love the person, but image!

7 4. In what Gospel story does Jesus identify himself with the poor and the weak? What does he say about how we treat the poor and the weak? In the Gospel account of the last judgment, Jesus identifies himself with the poor and the weak. Jesus says that how we treat the poor and the weak. Jesus says that how we treat the poor and the weak is how we treat him. 5. What does loving the earth mean for our actions? Just as with all forms of love, loving the earth means that we give it respect, understanding, and protection. We seek to foster the good of the earth. Loving the earth means that we love it as we love ourselves. Describe the parallel between developing a friendship and loving God. Just as developing a friendship with another takes time and attention, so does love of God.

8 Section B Summary: “Types of Love”
There are many types of love, depending on who is the “other” whose good we seek and foster. Self-love, friendship, erotic love, romantic love, nurturing and parental love, love of nature and love of God are all facets of the one reality of love, which is God. When we love, we truly live in God. (CCC, #1825, 1828—1829, 1849—1850, 1855, 1899.)

9 Section C: “Love is a Challenge” (Pages 138—141)
What is the definition of sin? What is the difference between sins of commission and sins of omission? Sin is the opposite of love—it is harming ourselves and others instead of fostering what is good for ourselves and others. Sins of commission involve actively doing something to harm ourselves and others. Sins of omission result from the failure to act for the good of ourselves and others and thus causing harm.

10 2. Twelve life skills of loving:
1) Knowledge of the other person 7) Trust 2) Practical knowledge ) Trustworthiness 3) Flexibility ) Humility 4) Handling conflict ) Hope 5) Patience ) Courage 6) Honesty ) Forgiveness Section C Summary: “Love is a Challenge” The basic challenge of love is whether to choose it, both as a whole way of life and in small, everyday situations. When we choose not to love, we sin and cause others harm. The Christian life demands that we choose a path toward love. Developing some life skills of love—such as patience, honesty, and forgiveness—can help us along the way. (CCC #11825, 1889)


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