Sunday, August 18, 2013

Step 2. Fall in Love ~ Formation of the Heart

  Part 2a.  Is it possible to love God and a human partner at the same time?

photo (used with permission) courtesy of Raising Ecstasy 

"...I meant that question for you." 

Point blank ~ shot straight to the core ~ I was taken aback...

I have read books on this theme more than a thousand times and even wrote about my vocation but how come my friend insists on taking me deeper into my call?
~ from a spiritual companion~
The last few days after a month break, my friend and I have resumed our reflections on the Purpose Driven Life. This time, we dwelt on Growth (Ch.23 and beyond) and I have discovered in which 'particular' area I remained a child. I need to grow!

I told him yes, it is possible to love both... we need not go further from eros and agape.

"Then, what 'blocks' you from truly loving God... and from engaging in another relationship?" my friend continued... 

I was asked to reconcile my mind and my heart. It is a long journey ~ but am I also willing to start it? 

It is not enough to say that I love. I could have an entire discourse on this and yet have no heart ~ Love is not explained, it is expressed. 

Do it!

"Here I am! I stand at the door and knock.
~ Rev. 3,20 NIV

For several days my friend and I worked on a list of roadblocks to loving. And in each item, he asked: 
      ~ how can I do it? 
      ~ how should I do it? 
      ~ how will it make my life better if I do it?

He took me to the extreme coming up with the craziest ideas to counter the impediments and yet each time I did, I felt the thorns (fears) falling off and the horse blinders (lack of vision and creativity) lifted up.

On the Feast of the Assumption of our Blessed Mother, I took a day of retreat and thanked Jesus for giving me a pair of 'new eyes' ~ a renewed way of living, loving and relating with others. 

You Changed My Life in a Moment

 Listen ~ 
welcome the experience ~ let Him transform you.

“We need that love to make us fearless in our devotion."
via Catholic Online 

I took these parts out of my Vision Board and surrendered them to Jesus.

"Visualizing is what you want with your Vision Board, 
Visioning is asking God what He wants from you." 
~ Linda Lee


*Note: What are the barriers that keep you from truly loving? 
Create your own list ~ identify the barriers ~ what do you do next?
You may download our list as a pattern via
We suggest you do this activity with a partner or a friend or in groups.

Supplement readings:

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI's Encyclical Deus Caritas Est 
Jennifer Hartline, Falling In Love with God: The Greatest Romance via Catholic Online
Peter Kreeft, Love Sees with New Eyes 
See Life Through the Eyes of Love via Positively Present
Scott Peck, The Illusion of Falling In Love, The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth
Philosophy of Love: An Overview via Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy


  1. yes, God is Love and we all are His children. So, when we love a person with our heart, don't we love God by doing so, at least partly? Sweet mom, I'm confused on this account. I really love our Lord and yet I am intensely in love with my BF too! Is it wrong? Or is it my weakness?

    1. Dear daughter, love has no measure. We are all called into different walks of life. As my spiritual companion wrote:
      ~ some may be called to religious life, others for marriage and still others for single blessedness. But in all these, a 'relationship' exists.

      If you feel that you are strongly called to married life, then by all means, cultivate on your relationship with your bf, grow with him and love each other.

      It is not wrong nor is it a weakness ~ you love God by entering into a relationship with other people.

      Lots of love and prayers.

    2. Dearest Mom,
      thank you very much for resolving my dilemma!
      love and hugs!
      ever yours,

  2. Placing God at the center of our lives is what we need to even begin to love ourselves and others as we should. Loving Him because He first loved us is the highest calling whether we are single or married.
    Beautiful, thought-provoking post, Melissa!
    Love to you!

    1. I love you dear friend. You understand me perfectly. I look up to you and Danny as my model for married life as you place God at the center of your lives. Your life, you ministry flows together in harmony because of your love for Christ and for each other.

      Thank you and I continue to pray with you.

  3. Glad to hear that you're removing the roadblocks to love Melissa. It can be especially hard if we want one thing but are thinking and feeling something else. Sometimes we do have to go within and try to catch those internal conflicts, not only for love but everything else in life. Limiting beliefs and unfounded beliefs have a way of holding us back in life.

    I think you're in a great year of growth and your journey continues to inspire us and transform you. I have a feeling that God could not be more excited in showering His goodness and blessings on you.

    I see you're putting your nursing skills to use up there in the photo. OR is that changing the vision board to attract a dashing doctor to come into your life:) ?

    1. Thank You God! There must be a reason why things are beginning to take place now instead of while I was in the convent. I think I am more ready now.

      Thank you Vishnu for all the love and support I am getting from friends like you. I continue to stand on my belief, you have the gift. Pay everything forward :)

      Let's leave the space now for more surprises from God ;) You keep on wishing a doctor for me. Who knows you might end up with a doctor yourself :P

      Lots of love and prayers. God bless Vishnu!

  4. Dear Melissa,

    I believe many, or maybe most, lovers try to make their Sweetheart into their 'god'. This is too great a burden for any romantic relationship. We cannot get the 'juice' we need to live fully from another person or from a relationship. We each need to get that from God and, thus, bring our Spiritually Whole & Empowered selves back to the relationship to share with each other.

    Especially, I find women make this mistake and then they wonder why the man in their life is not fulfilling their needs. He can't -- HE'S NOT GOD!

    You are a wise woman to put God first. If and when you decide to take a husband or have children they will benefit greatly from the work you are doing on your Self now. Well played, My Dear!

    Lovely post. Thank you for sharing your growth process so authentically -- I'm sure you express ideas many others wonder about and we can all learn from witnessing each others' processes. Also, those of us who love you get to know you at a deeper level.


    1. Thank you so much for accompanying me in my journey Linda. I am very open to 'improve' my relationships and I look forward to being a 'better' me.

      I 'thought' when I left the convent, the Lord wanted me to marry. So I entertained another form of relationship. I couldn't go on 'filling up' empty parts of me. As you said, we need to be whole first so I could share myself fully.

      Thank you ~ thank you~I love that you my intimate friends and the new ones I'm journeying with see me grow :) ~ deeper, yes and free-er!

  5. Dear Melissa,

    This was truly a thought-provoking and beautiful post. Nothing more beautiful than a soul reaching out to the Lord, like a child's arms stretching out for her father to carry her.

    I pray with you. God bless you and may His face shine upon you!


    1. Thank you very much for your visit "Keen for God" and your comment.

      I know that it isn't an easy task to 'go inside' and look at all the impediments that keep us from loving and becoming our true selves...but we do have to trust ~ 'reach out' as you said ~ in order for Christ to lift us up.

      Lots of love and prayers!