Friday, May 15, 2009

Characteristics of Dialogue

The fiasco or the success of dialogue will depend on how we cooperate to make it succeed. We should give it the test of love, if love is what conquers in the end.

But what singular characteristics of love can be applied here? In 1 Cor. 13:4 love is described as humble, patient and forgiving. So without judging one another, let us share and contribute whatever good ideas we may have. We should be willing to take humiliations if only to achieve peace. After all, how can we pay for all the loss of lives in the needless conflicts and armed encounters? Even one single life is precious enough. We keep telling that to speeding, negligent drivers, who show little respect for passers-bys’ lives. A dialogue has also to put on the atmosphere of patience, since patience is truly a part of love. Then, put aside all biases and prejudices as Jesus made that a consistent rule: “Judge not and you will not be judged; because the judgments you give are the judgments you will get” (Mt. 7:1-2).

Basically that’s what St. Paul is aiming at when he discusses that there are 3 virtues that last, but the greatest of them all is love (1 Cor. 13:13).

“If I could speak all the tongues of men and of angels, but were given no love, I would only be sounding brass or clanging cymbals. If I had prophecy, knowing secret things with all kinds of knowledge, and faith great enough to remove mountains, but had no love, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I had to the poor, and even gave up my own body, but only to receive praise and not through love, it would be of no value to me. Love is patient, kind, without envy. It is not boastful or arrogant. It is not ill-mannered nor does it seek its own interest. Love withstands anger and forgets offenses. It does not take delight in wrong, but rejoices with the truth. Love excuses everything, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love will never end. Prophecies may cease, tongues be silent and knowledge disappear. For knowledge grasps the truth imperfectly and prophecy as well. And when what is perfect comes, everything imperfect will pass away. When I was a child, I thought and reasoned like a child, but when I grew up, I gave up childish ways. Likewise, at present, we see dimly as in a faulty mirror, but then we shall see face to face. Now, we know in part, but then I will know Him as He knows me. Now we have faith, hope and love, these three, but the greatest of these is love” (1 Cor. 1-13).

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