Love is Dreadful and is also an Act of the Will
The fact is that love is not in the feelings or the glands, although they are important and a marriage without sentiment and sex is a poor one. The point is that they are not primary. They do not ultimately define love. Love, to sound boring, is an act of the will. It is the decisions we make and the harder the decision in spite of the feelings, the greater the love. Love can and often does operate when feelings are fearful, timid or sad.
The Russian writer Dostoevsky said: “Love in action is a harsh and dreadful thing…” When St. Maximilian Kolbe, trembling in his shoes, steps forward to die in place of a prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp. That’s love and according to Jesus “Greater love than this no one has than to lay down his life for his friend”.
St. Oscar Romero knew that the authorities wanted to kill him and he could have walked away and stopped preaching, but, no he was preaching his love of the Salvadorian people when he was assassinated celebrating Mass.
William Bausch, an American priest, said, “Before, during and after his hanging I prayed for Saddam Hussein. He was a wicked, depraved man that evoked nothing but feelings of revulsion. So, why did I pray for him? Because Jesus said to ‘Love your enemies. Pray for those who persecute you.’ Jesus didn’t ask how I felt. He simply told me to love. A dreadful task.”
“Love is a harsh and dreadful thing.” Ask Jesus on the Cross!