Love and Servitude

February 11, 2009 § Leave a comment

As you may already know, I am currently in the midst of reading Fulton Sheen’s The World’s First Love while I am in Adoration after work every day. It is an incredible book, and the chapter I read yesterday addressed how closely intertwined love and servitude are in a well-ordered love. Bishop Sheen writes:

Love demands freedom from one thing, in order to place itself freely at the service of another. When a man falls in love, he seeks the sweet servitude of affection and devotion to another. When a man falls in love with God, he immediately goes out in search of a neighbor. But to be utterly free from all restraint, a man would have to be alone; but then he would have no one to love.

Here Bishop Sheen presents the utter tragedy of supposed “free love”. Such free love is not possible, simply because every love has the end or telos of placing itself in servitude to the beloved. In order to fulfill a desire to be utterly free, a man must exist in a void, a vacuum, so that there would be no one to love and serve.

This takes us to the ultimate role model of love for women and men the world over: Mary, the Mother of God. In her Fiat (“Let it be done unto me according to Thy will.”) Mary showed that she knew more about love than any other human being in history (save, of course, her own Son). A choice to surrender to Ultimate Love entails a surrender to Ultimate Servitude.

What does this mean for us today? It means that we, like Mary, must utter the Fiat in our own hearts. We surrender to love of God and in so doing must also place ourselves at the service of God and neighbor to the best of our abilities.

By the way, Happy Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes!!!!!!

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