What kind of love can put out the fire of hate? We must answer this question carefully as some forms of “love” fuel the fires of hate. We hear an increasingly loud and erroneous voice that tells us love is about self-fulfillment. I meet someone who makes me feel fulfilled and I have found love. I am told I must love myself first in order to love others and so I seek my own self-fulfillment thinking this is love. The problem is, when our self-fulfillment collides with someone else’s, we get angry and, increasingly in our society, that anger grows into visceral hate. Thus, although we think of ourselves as good people who love, we find ourselves angry and our society spewing ever more hate.
Standing the World on its Head
The love that puts out the fire of hate is a love rooted in self-sacrifice rather than self-fulfillment. It freely and willingly gives up what it wants, even that to which it has a right. This is the love that always puts other before self. This is the love that extinguishes the fire of hate and makes lasting peace.
This kind of love would stand the world on its head! Imagine a world where everyone put other before self. Imagine the deepest hurts you have experienced. Haven’t most of them come when someone put their interests ahead of yours? How would this love change the world of business, healthcare, the environment, social justice, law, government? How would it change your world?
The problem is that to love all the time with entirely selfless love is impossible. We are inherently selfish and self-preserving either of our individual selves or our extended selves:
In a sense, reinforcement is the central principle of behavior….Beings that are not God by their very nature act in order to gain something when they act. There is no such thing as absolutely selfless behavior. People who are selfless find some kind of deep satisfaction in altruistic behavior even when altruism means suffering some kind of loss.Egan, Gerard. The Skilled Helper. Second Edition. Monterey, CA: Brooks/Cole Publishing Company, 1982.
This love requires a miracle – the miraculous changing of our very nature from inherent selfishness even in our love to truly selfless love – from human nature to divine nature. This is the love that Christianity espouses and enables even if many Christians themselves often fail to love this way. This is the miracle that makes Christianity different from all other religions.
Christians do not just follow the teachings of Christ or imitate His example. They are called to have their very natures transformed into this selfless love by the miracle of Jesus literally living in them by the power of the Holy Spirit. We call this miracle Sanctifying Grace. It is this miraculous love that will put out the fire of hate. Mary, the mother of Jesus tells us:
“Yes, my little one, we will put out fire with fire: the fire of hatred with the fire of love. The fire of Satan’s hatred hurls its flames so high that he believes his victory is at hand. But my Flame of Love will blind Satan. I have placed this Flame of Love in your hands, and soon it will reach its destination, and the flames which spring from my love will quench the fire of hell.”The Blessed Virgin Mary to Elizabeth Kindelmann; The Spiritual Diary (First Edition); p236
How will Mary do this?
By leading us to Jesus who is the Flame of Love of her Immaculate Heart. Jesus personifies the selfless love that is God:
“We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”I John 3:16 (NASB)
As God, Jesus had every right to everything but He did not consider His self-fulfillment as God something to be held on to but freely emptied Himself for our sake so we could see before our eyes the difference between God’s perfect selfless love which is eternally sustainable and our selfish human love that is only sustained as long as our love is reinforced.
He freely came in a virgin birth to show there was no self-gratification involved. He came to a poor family to show there was no greed involved. He became a fugitive – His family fleeing for His life. He came to social injustice – to a people oppressed by those who wielded power over them to show there was no lust for power. He allowed Himself to be unjustly arrested, falsely accused, and be tortured to death to show us how far selfless love will go:
Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.Philippians 2:5-8 (NASB)
This kind of love, not a love based on self-fulfillment, not a political, economic, or social solution, this perfectly selfless love that always moves away from self and toward other is the only way out of the hatred that engulfs society. The only way we can consistently love selflessly is for Jesus Himself to live in us by the miracle of Grace. When Jesus’ selfless love fills us and the world around us by Grace, Satan and his fire of hatred is displaced. Darkness cannot coexist with light.
This is how Mary puts out the fire of hatred with the Flame of Love:
“I assure you, my little one, that I have never before given into your hands such a powerful force of grace, the burning flame of the love of my heart. Ever since the Word became Flesh, I have not undertaken a greater movement than the Flame of Love of my heart who rushes to you. Until now, nothing could blind Satan as much. And it is up to you not to reject it”The Blessed Virgin Mary to Elizabeth Kindelmann; The Spiritual Diary (First Edition), p60
Jesus, The Flame of Love living in us by Grace, displaces Satan and his hatred. This is why Mary asks us to ask her to “spread the effect of grace of your Flame of Love over all of humanity.”
The Flame of Love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Movement restores Christianity’s focus on the selfless love of Jesus through the miracle of Grace. It is the devotion of Grace whose effect is to drive out evil wherever it is active.
If you would like to drive out the fire of hatred by The Flame of Love, please spend some time on our web site. Learn, live, and spread The Flame of Love.