There is so much self-love that passes itself off for pure love, it is almost unbelievable! I met a woman that has fornicated to the point of nausea, is addicted and high on drugs literally around the clock, and declares from the hill tops how much she loves her children. And of course she goes on and on about how much she loves Jesus.
She tells me her children are everything to her and she could not live without them. What she fails to see is that this has nothing to do with her love for them, as much as the love they give and provide for her. In fact, she hates her children.
Self-love is so self-deluding that it masks reality at a level in people that is beyond scary. I have wrestled with being confused about why protestants fail to see the Catholic Church, if her claims are true.
People are drawn to Christ because of His great love, but what about our love for Him? What about our gift for Him? And no, I’m not talking about God loves me and has a wonderful plan for me and wants to make me happy and wants me to have what I want and gives me two kids and a nice house. It’s all about me–my bible, my church that aligns with me, my Jesus that loves me, my seeking self interest in the name of Jesus me. Jesus did not say come and follow you. He said come and follow me.
Silly Christians-with-a-little-c, selfless love is the only thing that I know of that can see the Kingdom. So why do we come up against a brick wall when we dialogue with our protestant brethren? Because the Me of self love within them is sitting on the throne.
They can’t see the Church, or Mary, or the great cloud of witnesses because only selfless love can see the selfless. Their Christianity is a Christianity of the me and not the we.
To love is to give away as gift. As Christians, we belong to a body that encompasses two millennia of selfless gift, but only selfless gift can see selfless gift. Just as selfishness can only see selfishness.
So a tree is known by its fruit. We see Mary’s fiat because we have given our fiat. They say she’s just one of us, always wanting to lessen her place in redemptive history, because they are less. Their fiat is a fiat of taking not giving. To know selfless gift in any measure you would have to be selfless gift to some measure. In other words they are blinded by selfishness or self-love.
I have to be honest, the bible or rather their interaction with it only compounds the problem. Look folks the bible is to guide us into all truth, but the essence of it’s worth is that it leads us to selfless love. If it was leading you toward selfless love as you say, then in time it would lead you into the Church.
Instead they use it as dominance for private direction and autonomy, where the I of isolation trumps the we of two thousand years of lived Christian experience. How could this be seen as selfless love showing the body of Christ proper respect? It has nothing to do whatever with the we of all the faithful. But rather once again the almighty Me.
So what is the great sin of the protestant mentality? Me, myself, and I.
The body of Christ living and deceased, we are either our little ‘I’ joining the ranks of the one bride, or the ‘We of me’ all alone on my little throne of me and Jesus.
I have heard it said tongue in cheek many a time that we Catholics have a fourth person in our trinity, that being the Mother of God. But neither Mary, nor Popes, nor saints wielded, or even dreamed of wielding, the power of the Me.