Love and Do What You Like!
Martha Grace Reese, an exceptional woman (ordained pastor, attorney, best-selling author and researcher) would probably agree with St. Augustine's comment to love and do what you like.
We ought not to take this remark out of context.
In Martha Reese’s book Unbinding your Heart, she calls to love others because that’s an important reason to want them to enter into a Christian life. I resonate totally with her in this regard. To become immersed in a spiritual life, following Christ, within a church has certainly been transformational for me. I want others to have this experience.
So just what does St. Augustine mean to love, and do what you like?
This is a demanding discipline, meaning so much more than loving the people in your family, or your friends who think as you do. It’s about reaching out to others from a wellspring of tolerance, awareness and compassion.
One of the suggested readings in the book was from Luke 15 which contains three parables about the immensity of God’s love.
The shepherd, not content to care for ninety-nine sheep when one is lost, searches for the one sheep bleating in the dark.
The housewife finds her desperately needed lost coins. Perhaps without them she and her family will go hungry.
The father welcomes home the lost and dissolute so.
If you are lost (we all are), if you are spiritually hungry (we all are) and if you need help (we all do), seek a church, one you feel drawn to, where you will grow as a human being, learning sacred wisdom amongst people who are struggling to love as Jesus loved.
This is the love St. Augustine was talking about. It is miraculous.
My novel, Naomi and Ruth: Loyalty Among Women, is about the love of women that is a reflection of God's love and grace.