I’ve been writing about St. Augustine’s saying,
“Love, and do what you will.” Last week, I noted
that I need to really know someone and to know
God’s call for them in order to love them truly.
This is because God created each of us uniquely. I
have different gifts and needs than you do; you have
different interests and aversions than I do. Offering
you a hand with a project might be generosity, or an
insult – depending on who you are, and on what I
have to offer. I can’t love you unless I know you.
The greater the love I want to show, the deeper must
be my understanding of you. It is a basic act of love
to treat others with justice and fairness, but it’s shallow.
If I want to be friends, I have to spend more
time getting to know you so that I can see how my
gifts can meet your needs. If I want to share my life
with you, as spouses do, then I need to know you
This is actually harder than it sounds. It means asking,
not “What do I want for you?” or even “What
do you want?” but, “What unique plan does God
have in mind for you, and how can I help?”
That means I need to know God as well as I know
How do you get to know someone? How does that
help you love them better?