Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Loving people and doing things for the right reason

A short blog for the busybodies:

In April of 1376 St. Catherine of Sienna was asked a question by Frate Jeronio da Sienna of the Hermits of Saint Augustine:

In so many words he asked, How do I know if my love for a person is imperfect? Or better yet, how do I know if I am not loving a person for God's sake?

The Saint answered: "When you see that a person you love is somehow falling short of your expectations, when he or she isn't talking to you as usual or seems to you to be loving someone else more than you, if then you become resentful and slightly chagrined, slacking off in love that was there before, take it for certain that this love is still imperfect."

St. Catherine then recounted when God had instructed her on the matter. He said to her, "As long as one who loves sees that the beloved is living in sweet solid virtue, he or she [the one who exercises perfect love; that is, love for God's sake] feels no troubling pain even on seeing the beloved becoming somewhat distant or acting differently, but the love has not been selfish but for God."

The Letters of Catherine of Sienna Volume II