A Challenge from Fyodor


In The Brothers Karamozov, Fyodor Dostoevsky writes:

Love in action is a harsh and dreadful thing compared with love in dreams. Love in dreams is greedy for immediate action, rapidly performed and in sight of all. People will give their lives if only the ordeal does not last long but is soon over, with all looking on and applauding as if on the stage. But active love is labor and fortitude.”

The active love he writes about, the daily grind kind of love, is, in many ways, what grounds and defines us. When our loved ones may say or imply, “I love you not because of you but in spite of you”, we’re talking about this kind of love. When we think about changing diapers, driving kids everywhere, hanging in there with a spouse or friend going through a tough time that they can’t seem to get past, we’re talking about this kind of love. When we think about our efforts to follow Christ and the many re-starts we’ve all had on that journey and we consider an all-loving, all-merciful God who chooses to love us at every moment, we’re talking about this kind of love.

Let’s be grateful for the active love that shapes, informs and undergirds each one of us and let’s also ask for the grace to put that kind of love into practice.

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