Holiness = Love: Part 2, The Capacity to Love

Holiness is the capacity to love.

That's the argument I make in Reviving Old Scratch: "A holy person is a loving person."

Holiness isn't the opposite of love, a holier-than-thou piety that separates us from others. Holiness is cultivating the ability to love, especially those who are hard to love. As Dorothy Day liked to say, we only love God as much as the person we love the least.

Loving the hard-to-love is difficult and transgressive. It doesn't come naturally and it doesn't feel right. In fact, it might feel very, very wrong.

Thus the need for holiness, the need for discipline, practice and training. Love is a capacity that must be cultivated.

As Stanley Hauerwas has said, "To learn to follow Jesus is the training necessary to become a human being."

Holiness is that training.

This entry was posted by Richard Beck. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply