|Kevin wearing Dale's hat; Dale wearing Kevin's hat.|
Today I had Dale Ahlquist in my kitchen at 8:00 in the morning, so I decided to talk theology.
Over toast and tea (Dale) and soggy Raisin Bran (me), I said ...
Dale, how are we to love? What should our response be if our love is rejected? Our Lord tells us to shake the dust off our feet if the message we give is not received. And we are called to be detached from the world, but what is the meaning of the longing in our hearts and what is the meaning of the pain that a lack of a just response engenders? I asked a friend this question and her answer was, in effect, "Shut up and love" - love without worrying about being loved back. But that sounds a bit stoic to me - a kind of grin and bear it. It sounds like an ideal, but like something other than the Christian ideal.
"Kevin," Dale answered, "All of the virtues fit together. Love is not just a feeling or an attitude you give without prudence or temperance or fortitude being in the mix. It's a question of the stewardship of love."
This rich interplay of virtue, this complex and mature thing that grace builds, is what the Protestant Revolt dismantled. And so even in our Catholic parishes we hear all about love, but nothing about how love operates among adults in the real world, about how all of the virtues support one another in a hierarchy that serves to build up love.
And so we get love divorced from prudence or temperance or even common sense, and we end up with a sham, a hollow parody of love.
Dale spoke at St. Louis Marian Conference tonight, and will speak more tomorrow (Sat. Jan. 11), when he tells his conversion story at 1:00 pm. If you're near St. Louis, be sure to come!