on loving the unlovable

Irish playwright Oscar Wilde once said, “Some people cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.” We all know those whose presence warm our hearts and fill the room with joy and laughter just as we are aware of others for whom we cringe at the very thought of them. To paraphrase Wilde: “Some people we love without reservation; others, with great reservation.”

A Child of God

A Child of God

Jesus tells us, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes the sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.”[1] No one, especially Jesus, ever said loving others would be easy, and he should know. Even after excruciating torture and crucifixion, he still offered those who would kill him his love and forgiveness.

The truth is that loving others can often be far more difficult a task to accomplish than anything else we might attempt to do in this life. Let’s face it some people make it extremely difficult if not nearly impossible to love. Some people are like Joe Btfsplk, the well-meaning, but hapless jinx from Al Capp’s L’il Abner comic strip who walked around with a cloud over his head and brought disastrous misfortune to everyone with whom he came into contact. Or others who might be best exemplified by the lyrics “Gloom, despair, and agony on me. Deep, dark depression, excessive misery. If it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all. Gloom, despair, and agony on me” a song sung frequently on the TV show Hee-Haw (1969-1992).

And then there are those whose virulent hatred and animosity toward others lends no opening through which one can hope to inject even an ounce of love. They hate for the sake of hating. Their words and actions condemn you because you wish to love them. Their hearts are cold, hardened against any and all attempts to love. It seems to be an impossible quest.

We all know of someone for whom it is difficult to love and yet we are called to love them as our heavenly Father loves them. Jesus does not equivocate; he is crystal clear on what we must do: we must love our enemies and pray for those who would persecute us, for it is only in loving those for whom it is most difficult to love that we may be called children of God.

How are we to love the unlovable, especially those who project hatred and ill-will, those who espouse to perpetrate evil upon us? To be a child of God we must first love as a child. A child loves without judgment, without prejudice, without condition, without reservation for a child knows nothing of such things. A child sees another as a kindred soul to love. A child has yet to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and bad, has yet to know the difference. If you love as a child, you will surely be called a child of God.



[1] Mt 5:43-45.

About the author: Deacon Chuck

Deacon Chuck was ordained into the permanent diaconate on September 17, 2011, in the ministry of service to the Diocese of Reno and assigned to St. Albert the Great Catholic Community. He currently serves as the parish bulletin editor and website administrator. Deacon Chuck continues to serve the parish of Saint Albert the Great Catholic Community of the Diocese of Reno, Nevada. He is the Director of Adult Faith Formation and Homebound Ministries for the parish, conducts frequent adult faith formation workshops, and is a regular homilist. He currently serves as the bulletin editor for the parish bulletin. He writes a weekly column intended to encompass a broad landscape of thoughts and ideas on matters of theology, faith, morals, teachings of the magisterium and the Catholic Church; they are meant to illuminate, illustrate, and catechize the readers and now number more than 230 articles. His latest endeavor is "Colloqui: A journal for restless minds", a weekly journal of about 8 pages similar in content to bulletin reflections. All his reflections, homilies, commentaries, and Colloqui are posted and can be found on his website: http://deaconscorner.org. Comments are always welcome and appreciated. He is the author of two books: "The Voices of God: hearing God in the silence" which offers the reader insights into how to hear God’s voice through all of the noise that surrounds us; and "Echoes of Love: Effervescent Memories" which through a combination of prose and verse provides the reader with a wonderful journey on the way to discovering forever love. He regularly speaks to groups of all ages and size and would welcome the opportunity to speak to your group.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.