Mind dupe of heart

“The mind is always the dupe of the heart.”
– Francois Duc de La Rochefoucauld

This was the journal topic in class today.  I love this topic because it so accurately diagnoses the romantic emotionalism that drives teenagers (and most adults) in search of their significant others.  We believe that love is an emotion and something we fall into or out of.  But rather, love is a commitment, and that commitment often calls us to sacrifice even when we don’t feel like it.  I didn’t read the book, but the movie “The Notebook” was so beautiful because it demonstrated this kind of love.  The male lead character lovingly retold their love story every day to his Alzheimer’s-stricken wife in the hopes that she will remember their love, just for a few minutes.  He loves and loves and loves her, even though his needs are not being met.  Oh, that I would be this faithful!

I talked to students about how much more important character is than romantic fireworks.  The fireworks are wonderful, but the only way to have them keep returning regularly is to love sacrificially.  And that takes character.  I said “If your boyfriend is lying to his parents to see you, then the day will come when he will lie to you to see someone else.”  This is because he is willing to lie to selfishly get his needs met.  When the current girl no longer meets his emotional (or other) needs, he will move on, because his needs are ultimately what matters.

So I have a great time sounding wise and making the students squirm as they examine their own relationships, but am I doing this?  I hope at least to some extent I am.  But it’s certainly a process.  May the Lord grant me the grace to die to myself more and more, and to take the risks of engagement rather than passivity.

And man, I love my job.

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