Special

The Love Season

March 20, 2017


'Man kills friend, takes selfie and posts on Whatsapp', said the headline on my phone as I read an account of how a 27-year-old killed his married lady friend, with wide eyes. I found not a single thing inspiring from the news item, yet it got me thinking as to where was humanity heading. Where has the love gone from humans? We’re heading into an abyss, and taking selfies along the way!

Today of course love has taken over a new meaning. Love is shown in the photos we post, in the mushy statuses we update, on Valentine's Day, between members of the same sex, between man and animals, towards trees… everything becomes love, and is vigorously justified. But as we are in the season of Lent, this write-up is to show a much greater love than all of this. The real love - the reason for our existence. I am talking about the historic man of love - Jesus Christ.

What has love got to do with Lent, one may ask. Everything. Why else would God become man, live and work, just to die miserably at the end? For an ungrateful mankind who is as pagan as they were before the coming of Christ. The answer lies in John 3:16 - For God so loved the world that He gave up His only Son so that whosoever believes in Him may not perish but have eternal life. Why does He need to love us so much? Simple. God is love. He cannot but love. He cannot but bless. He cannot but forgive. He simply doesn’t know anything else. How lucky! We humans on the other hand know anything but love. That’s where the Lenten season comes in. To usher in a gentle yet powerful breeze of love. This is the season of abstinence. Some give up meat, some liquor and other things.

I know a friend who doesn’t watch movies in Lent. It’s a different thing she watches them all on Easter Sunday and the next few days together! Maybe we humans are capable of only so much love. We wouldn’t die for each other. Yet humanity is not entirely devoid of emotion. Even today we hear accounts of mothers dying for their children, patriots dying for their country, lovers dying for each other (sometimes rather foolishly I must say!) St Valentine died for the cause of love, Jack in Titanic died for his love, Neerja Bhanot died protecting three little children during the infamous hijack in 1986. Even today if someone were to pose a threat to our loved ones, we wouldn’t bat an eyelid to take a bullet for them. But would we die for someone who has yet to be born? For someone who doesn’t even know us? For someone who would deny us? Would we plan it for centuries? Would we give up our existence, take a form entirely different and far more inferior and live 33 years just to die for that person? Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? Yet that’s exactly what God did for us. He planned to die for us the day Adam and Eve sinned, He put His plan into action centuries later through Mary, prayed 40 days for the strength and then died the most painful death. And we reward those 40 days of His Passion with abstinence from meat, liquor and movies. Not that it’s wrong. Abstinence is also out of love.

Lent is far more than that. It’s a tenth of a year, like a tithe of our time to God. Lent is to give Him more of our time. Let’s love more, pray more and try to be more like Christ who died for us. Nothing can surpass His love, but we can try to love one another just like He did. Let’s give Him more importance than anything or anyone else. Like take on an electronic fast-keep our cellphones aside, give up Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp etc (as painful as the crowning of thorns?!), then give that time for prayer or just to be in His presence. Instead of listening to worldly useless music, let’s listen to hymns and praise and worship songs; instead of daily soaps and movies, let's watch devotional programmes. Let’s spend less time over the internet and use that time to talk to our siblings or grandparents at home. Let’s be patient towards others, wait a minute for the pedestrians trying to cross the road, be kind to the beggar who begs, or the eunuch who bugs us at traffic signals, smile at the lady who throws trash in our compound, bite our tongue when we want to say something spiteful or back answer our parents, talk a little less over the phone, gossip none at all, obsess a little less over ourselves, spend a little less on material goods and donate it, do anything that shows and portrays love. Not for the sake of showing love. But to love in return for the love we were shown. Millenia ago. And then once we see the blessings that pour in and the goodness we feel, let’s continue it after Lent. After all, Christ didn’t take a holiday after He rose on Easter Sunday to make up for all the suffering He went through. He is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).

Meanwhile in our sad virtual world, a quote on FB - 'If you’re single on Valentine’s Day, remember nobody loves you on the other days of the year as well!' Talk about sad. But you and me know better, don’t we?

 

Hanita Pinto Archives:

 

By Hanita Pinto
Hanita Pinto has a masters in law from SDM Law College and has been in Mangaluru ever since her wedding in May 2012. She has earlier worked in Bengaluru as a legal compliance officer.

Comment on this article

  • Ashok, Mangalore

    Mon, Apr 3 2017

    First of all you looks like Jennifer Lopez nice article keep writing

    Agree [3]

  • Anil Pinto, Mumbai/Abu Dhabi

    Thu, Mar 30 2017

    Faith is seen in a different perspective from the minds of both, the believer and non-believer. Both consider that they are right in their own views.

    The moot question, is of course, "Why do we believe - or disbelieve ?". Most of us are born into "A particular Faith" and adhere to it as we grow, simply out of compulsion. However, as we grow older and grow more discerning, we being to question various aspects of Faith and its relation to humanity , based on our empirical knowledge of this world.

    So, what makes us follow "A Particular Faith" inspite of our doubts ?
    Is it simply to believe in a fantasy figure (like the marvel superheroes )?, or is there a deeper understanding to it ?

    Pardon my ignorance - but in my humble opinion - this is not just a fantasy belief. For most of us "Faith" is an anchor in this turbulent and unstable existence of humanity. The writer of this article bemoans the state of humanity today - but isn't that how humanity always existed (right from the times of Cain and Able ) ? Is there really any hope for humanity ? It is in this meelee that man finds God.

    I recall leaning a poem as a child . "The Pulley - by George Herbert" - Please read it if possible.

    All of us will die some day - we can't deny that fact. This realization and the rigors of this world cause us to find solace in something beyond what this world can offer and this is the basic reason why we gravitate towards "Faith". Please note, I have used the word "Faith" and not "Religion".

    I don't need to know whether there is proof of Jesus' existence or not. The very fact that I need his grace to face this world has already proved to me of his existence - I don't need any other proof.

    So, when we think of Jesus Christ, we need to go beyond the realms of material evidence (I don't care if it exists or not - should it really matter ?)

    Agree [2]

  • Zeitgeist, Mangalore

    Thu, Mar 30 2017

    David Pais,

    Your comment does not make any sense. What has that got do with what i asked. Theist always tend to counter a genuine question with some silly counter question.
    `
    But still, let me let you the answer to your silly question. No I did not see my birth. but i can prove that i was born. I do have a birth certificate. If you take me to court tomorrow to prove that i existed... i can provide my birth certificate and court will accept it as evidence.

    Agree

  • Hanita Pinto, Mangalore

    Thu, Mar 30 2017

    Dear Zeitgeist,
    Yes, ofcourse the existence of Jesus can be proven in a court of law. It's a fact. What makes you doubt it?

    Agree [2]

  • David Pais, Mangalore

    Mon, Mar 27 2017

    @Zeitgeist, Mangalore, have u seen your birth from your own eyes.

    Agree [5]

  • Simon Lobo, USA

    Sat, Mar 25 2017

    Dear friend Zeitgeist,

    Your question is misdirected - there is no court of law in this earth to prove such a question. We have people on this earth choose or not to choose a religion or a faith. It is up to each one of us to be part of a faith.

    After completing Knighthood in Knights of Columbus along with active participation in charity societies, I see myself blessed to follow a faith and believe.

    I have reservations about some of the materialistic wealth accumulation by a given religion or those who provide guidance to people on religious faith. This does not mean I will question their motives or look for answers, since such people are responsible their actions and activities.

    I have seen your several comments in last few years and understand where you coming from and do understand your mindset and background. Please discuss with your friends, relatives, or anyone that you are comfortable with for such discussions to find answers, if needed, to prove about things that you have not understood or taken time to learn more about a given faith or religion.

    God bless you.

    Agree [4]

  • Zeitgeist, Mangalore

    Sat, Mar 25 2017

    Since the author as masters in law ....... i want to ask you one question..... can it proven in the court of law whether Jesus Christ ever existed.

    Agree

  • Dr. savitha pereira, manglore

    Thu, Mar 23 2017

    Haneeta,
    Very good article and apt for the lent season too. Beautifully worded. hope many get inspired by this

    Agree [1]

  • Hanita Pinto, Mangalore

    Tue, Mar 21 2017

    Dear Mr. Simon Lobo,
    Thank you so much for the appreciation. None of my articles are directed towards a person. In this case too, you can rest assured. The 'friend' is imaginary as I reluctantly divulge. It's an article not my autobiography! Thank you once again.

    Agree [4]

  • Simon Lobo, USA

    Mon, Mar 20 2017

    Dear Hanita,

    Well worded, short sentences, many thoughts, lots of do's and don'ts for being and like to be in LOVE - yet confusing and lost at times.

    Agree with your overall theme and our individual commitment during Lent. In your words, relationship between Love and Lent is narrated, however it is each ones commitment and sacrifices which are personal and mostly not discussed. I am not sure it is good to quote friends habits as examples and justification for your narration. This friend of yours, if reads this narration, will be hurt.

    You stated "Instead of listening to worldly useless music, let’s listen to hymns and praise and worship songs; instead of daily soaps and movies, let's watch devotional programmes".

    Understand the background, however, the message is strong and younger generation with social media participation may not agree. One of Jesuit priest in his homily at 8:15AM English mass in Mangalore expressed sadness on the fact that no one between 6 to 20 years was in the church for this mass (other than two altar boys). It was eye opener and let us find will any one will agree with the your above suggestions.

    It is well explained by stating "God is love" "We humans on the other hand know anything but love" These thoughts have been explained and shows your commitment and matured understanding on our beliefs and doctrine.

    Please write many more such articles with inspiring and encouraging thoughts and we look forward to read them.

    God bless you and your family.

    Agree [4]

  • J.F.D SOUZA, Attavar, Mangaluru

    Mon, Mar 20 2017

    Analysed well and beautifully written. Such type of articles are very much required for the present generation who go out of the way ignoring dress code.

    Agree [9]

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