active, generous service as a way to avoid love?

… to avoid being present to those for whom we care?

… read dom Andre Louf …

” … for me really to love, it is important that I feel a sense of need myself.  My own need for love plays a role as great as the material or even the spiritual needs of others.  Although at first this sounds selfish, it is not so really.  If I start too quickly to serve others and to do things for them, I am skipping the important stage of friendship.  That stage is perhaps even essential.  It is possible that, unconsciously, I am very eager to leave this out, because it is really much easier to do something for others than to let the other approach me as someone I myself need.

In love it is essential that I first be inwardly wounded by the other.  I must give him time to wound me.  A need will then arise in me that can only be alleviated by the other.  To love is to say to someone, You are my joy; I cannot live without you; I need you.  Love awakens a deep need, makes a person needy and poor, and even dependent on another.  Love makes us open up to the other, teaches us to listen, makes us receptive.  In this sense love can never be without genuine humility.  It is especially love that makes me humble in relation to the one for whom I so intensely long.  For most people this is perhaps the most difficult aspect of friendship – not so much the emotional love from which some people would run, but the fact that love would lead us to recognize that we really and critically need the other, that only he can give us something to the degree that we give ourselves to him.  We can understand that many people unconsciously resist something that might be considered weak or cowardly, and that they will do everything they can to escape this trial.  An active, generous service to others is the most obvious way to do this, one moreover that flatters our self-love.  A so-called altruistic love may be a way to avoid love, particularly the genuine humility that is an ingredient of love.  It is rather easy to be a hero in the love of one’s neighbor.  (Does this sound strange?  But the idea is not hard to accept.)  Nevertheless, external heroism has little to do with genuine love, love that entails vulnerability and weakness.  Accordingly, we do not speak of the heroes of friendship, or of a heroic married life.  Love does not need heroism; it could be devastating to love.  Love is love and is sufficient to itself.  Similarly, real love is enough for us to be at our best.”  Tuning In To Grace – dom Andre Louf (p. 125)