About this blogger:
Ronda Chervin received a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Fordham University and an MA in Religious Studies from Notre Dame Apostolic Institute. A widow, mother, and grandmother, she currently teaches philosophy at Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut. Write to her at chervinronda@gmail.com.
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"Nothing should be allowed that is unworthy of divine worship, nothing that is obviously profane or unfit to express the inner, sacred power of prayer. Nothing odd or unusual is allowable, since such things, far from fostering devotion in the praying community, rather shock and upset it and impede the proper and rightful cultivation of a devotion faithful to tradition."
— Pope Paul VI • 10/13/1966

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Dietrich Von Hildebrand's book, The Nature of Love
published 4 June 2011 by Dr. Ronda Chervin

Many of the readers of CCWatershed know Alice Von Hildebrand through her articles, books, and appearances on EWTN. I was the student of her husband, Dietrich, one of the foremost Catholic philosophers of all times. I am teaching his book, The Heart, this summer in Los Angeles. I am thinking you’all might like occasional blogs of his most significant ideas as I go along.

Many people think that to want the love of others is selfish and that real love is only the kind where you “give without expecting anything in return” as in working at the soup kitchen.

Here is the fascinating and inspiring way Von Hildebrand thinks about wanting love. Not to want the love of a spouse, a child, or of God, is actually less love rather than more love. Why? Because if we are truly moved with love for the unique preciousness of another person, human or divine, we must want to be united to him or her. We want to be united, not for the satisfaction of benefits for ourselves, but precisely because the goodness in the other draws us. When we love we want the goodness we see in the beloved to flow into us because we see and experience that goodness. This is why admiration is fine, but it is not the same as love. When we admire someone we can be happy to be far from them, but when we love them we precisely want their love to come into us either in romantic love, family love, or love for God.

Was it selfish of Mother Teresa of Calcutta to yearn for the love of Jesus she experienced in the first half of her life as a Sister but lacked the joy of in the latter part of her life?

That doesn’t mean that we can demand that the love of another be expressed with a particular flavor, as in, “if you really loved me you couldn’t possibly forget our wedding anniversary!” (In the rare times I ever give marital advice, I suggest that women who feel this way should certainly remind their husbands of the date in big bold writing on the bathroom mirror.)

So, with regard to prayer, we cannot tell God that He must show His love for us by granting a particular request, no matter how important. But it is cold and unloving to approach God with a stance like this: “I go to Sunday Mass and I say my morning offering and night prayer of contrition, so You should be pleased with me. I don’t need to pray from the heart the way those “sentimental” other Catholics do.” Why? Because if we truly love the real God we have to want to be close to Him, not just to do His will better, but also as a foretaste of heaven where there will be no tasks to perform, as such, only to bask in such forms of love as seeing ourselves and others loved by Him to the point of satiety!

You might want to check the web to order Dietrich Von Hildebrand, The Heart, from St. Augustine’s Press or used from Barnes and Noble.

Read more blog entries by Dr. Ronda by visiting RONDAVIEW.

Dr. Ronda Chervin has many free e-books and audios on her website rondachervin.com. If you go to her website and read or listen and then want to correspond with her she will be available. Her schedule does not permit, however, responding to comments on the Blog, though she enjoys reading them. Dr. Ronda’s newest project is spiritualityrunningtogod.com.