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March 10, 2022

A discussion on love, jealousy, and envy

The Archdiocesan Family Life Commission (AFLC) aired the second episode of the ‘Conversations on Love’ series on February 14. This episode was titled ‘Love is not jealous, nor boastful’. The hostess was Crystal Johnson, the AFLC’s Mental Health Clinician and the guests were a young couple, Brent and Lauren Branker.

In this episode, Johnson and the Brankers delved into Chapter 4 of Pope Francis’ Amoris Laetitia, with special attention on “love is not jealous, love is not boastful” (74–77).

The discussion started with Johnson highlighting Pope Francis’ explanation of envious love. According to Pope Francis, “Envy is a form of sadness provoked by another’s prosperity; it shows that we are not concerned for the happiness of others but only with our own well-being…True love values the other person’s achievement.… It recognizes that everyone has different gifts and a unique path …”

Johnson asked them if there were times when they were envious of each other’s achievement.

Brent stated that he doesn’t think that he was ever jealous of Lauren’s achievements, while Lauren shared on how lucky she is to have Brent as a husband. She said, “Anything I succeeded in, he was there with me, and he was just as happy in it with me.”

However, she explained that it’s different for her. “… I’m really proud of him when he gets particular contracts and stuff like that, but I get jealous when it takes him away from me.”

Johnson liked Lauren’s point about jealousy not being about achievements but the time that is taken away from being together.

Moving on to love not being considered as boastful, Johnson highlighted Pope Francis’ words: “Love inspires a sincere esteem for every human being and the recognition of his or her own right to happiness.…Those who love not only refrain from speaking too much about themselves but are focused on others; they do not need to be the centre of attention.”

Reflecting on this, Johnson shared on how love can become a matter of proving one’s value or right to another.

When asked how they persevere in love marked by humility, understanding and forgiveness, the Brankers shared some practical advice. Lauren stated, “… we try to make time for each other.…That’s how we persevere…because we really love being around each other.…I think that is what helps us to persevere in love and in humility and finding that joy within each other.”

Brent added, “I think it’s about supporting each other too.… In that regard … you’re caring for the other person; you’re showing them that you love them by assisting …”

To end, Johnson commented, “… in the midst of everything, the chaos, not just with the externals but within, your first go to, is to come together. It’s not to grow apart. You guys respect each other’s individuality but it’s definitely to come back to each other. … in togetherness, we could really face anything.”

View this session and more on the AFLC’s YouTube page. —Ottrisha Carter