In one of our diocesan bulletins the writer gives us something to think about. Love is a word we use often but many questions are associated with the word. To illustrate what he wants to express he uses a well-known fable to introduce us to the meaning of love.
We hear about a love marriage between a cow and a lion. Many were opposed to the marriage in the village but they went ahead.
The cow would prepare the best grasses for the lion and the lion the best cuts of meat for the cow. They both hated what was provided but each thought they were giving the other the best there was. This continued for some time and finally, they separated each one professing that they did the best they could for the other.
Each did not understand the meaning of love. They loved in their own way. They were not familiar with the technique of love. They lacked a concern for the other as other.
The article introduces us to a farmer who in a difficult time in Korean history prepared a room in a house with a rice storage bin where anyone in his village in need could come with no need for asking or making themselves known and take what was needed. The room with the rice was built so no one in the house would know who came for the rice and no one's pride hurt. The owner was concerned with the feelings of those coming for the rice. Love that is lacking concern for the other is violence and mockery.
The farmer understood what the technique of love demanded and showed it by the way he treated the poor in his village.
Communication is a word we often here nowadays: mutual understanding in the home, society, between nations. When no problems are evident mutual understanding is not difficult, however, with problems communication often doesn't take place.
For healthy communication to take place we have first to be concerned with the other. Concern for the other is a requisite for love and understanding is what will follow.
When we thirst for communication and understanding we need to trust and prepare ourselves with silence as Jesus did before Pilate.
Our society is lacking this humility and desire for service which presents us with all kinds of obstacles in communicating. The problems we have require a concern for the other. The English word benevolence comes from the Latin word meaning wishing well of the other. In the Latin languages, 'I love you' is often expressed with "I wish you well'. Unfortunately, we use the word 'love' in Korean like in English that is often misunderstood.