Monday, 9 May 2011

Love and responsibility 7

Love as goodwill.
Loving a person for my benefit is incomplete love; I am called to seek the other person’s good. Love as goodwill is free from self-interest. There is a tendency in the experience of love to move from longing for the other person to seeking his or her good. This must be the case within marriage where sexual desire can be so conspicuous and make life both rich and difficult. Goodwill must always keep company with desire if love is to be true.
How does goodwill mature? It matures hrough trust. If I am always looking for the other person to respond to me, then I am too concerned about myself and this will paralyse the relationship. In fact, such self-interest can easily turn into jealousy or fear of unfaithfulness. This will overwhelm the relationship. If both parties only bring desire to the relationship then trust will not develop.
It is trust which allows love to become durable and reliable and to be a source of peace and joy. Every moment together is an opportunity to test our faith in each other and to reinforce it with virtue – this is what "dating" is really about. Honesty and patience are necessary ingredients here. A relationship then, becomes a school of life; I should ask myself, can I develop myself to the point that I can give my whole "self" to this person?

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