Three Loves

Father Geiermann discusses three types of love: the love between family members, the love between friends, and love for one’s country.

Concerning the love between family members, he writes: “Home life consists of our conduct in the family circle. The qualities that contribute to its happiness are sincerity, charity, cheerfulness, cordiality, patience, and a spirit of sacrifice. There is a profound attachment in every heart for that sacred spot we call Home. . . . Though the lapse of time may have changed our abode, our home is always the place where those dwell whom we love and trust, our safe retreat from an unsympathetic world, the reward of our labor and sacrifice, and the natural source of our energy and strength.”

Concerning the love between friends, he says: “Friends are persons who cherish a mutual attachment and have one another’s welfare at heart.” The wise Sirach offers this advice: “Be at peace with many, but let one of a thousand be thy counselor.” (Sir 6:6) And he observes: “A faithful friend is a strong defense: and he that hath found him, hath found a treasure. Nothing can be compared to a faithful friend, and no weight of gold or silver is able to countervail the goodness of his fidelity. A faithful friend is the medicine of life and immortality; and they that fear the Lord shall find him. He that feareth God shall likewise have good friendship; because according to him shall also his friend be.” (Sir 6:14-17)

Concerning love for one’s country, Father Geiermann writes: “Patriotism is love for one’s native or adopted country. It was implanted in the human heart by God when He made man a social being. Patriotism manifests itself (1) in an esteem of one’s country; (2) in attachment to it; (3) in the observance of its just laws; (4) in furthering the general welfare by one’s influence, especially by a conscientious use of the ballot; (6) in serving one’s country faithfully; and (7) in dying for one’s country if circumstances require it.”

Quotations from Peter Geiermann, The Narrow Way (New York: Benziger, 1914).

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