The Greatest Commandment “Love One Another”


I appreciated and fully endorse the content of (and depictions in) the 58th Super Bowl, T.V. ads, Jesus Gets Us. Those ads, those depictions… are the best, “media” P.R. for the Message of Jesus I’ve ever seen. Those TV ads mirror the “Lives in Action” of my spiritual heroes… Blessed Solanus Casey and Benedictine monk, Father Livius Poali as well as Holy Trinity legend, Father Clement Kern, University of Detroit’s football chaplain, Father Norbert Huetter S.J., Catholic Central’s Basilians (all of them) including the noble spirits of Father Bernard Regan, Father Richard Elmer, Father Gerard French, Father Norbert Clemens, Father Austin Brown, Father Wilfred Kehoe, Father Tunny Hathaway, Father Joe Barnes, Father Ray Paramo, Father John Huber and (of course) my own beloved, excommunicated parents (two marriages for my Mother, and out the door for the both of ’em).

All these heroes once… walked with us on our earthly journey, lived the Message of Jesus, and shone the brilliant light of “compassion” upon our War Baby generation. Those spiritual heroes of the Greatest Generation defined Love with actions speaking louder than words, as they…

  • Followed the Command to love another… through
  • The Goodness, Discipline and Compassion that
  • They brought to our lives, while, all the while,
  • Patiently empowering our individual uniqueness, as
  • We kids of the mid-20th Century sought to find ourselves,
  • In the cacophony of our own intimidating world of survival.


I don’t see how anybody could object to Super Bowl ads… Jesus Gets Us. And how about the audience ??? Compare the attendance of the Sermon on the Mount with the 115 million watching the Super Bowl … certainly, the largest, mass-media coverage of the Message of Jesus… in the history of the world. Oh no !!! My superlatives are beginning to sound sophomorically Trumpian.

Although I fully endorse the Jesus Gets Us ads, I do not endorse the Sponsor of the ads. The Sponsor (Hobby Lobby Family), over time, has clearly shown that (1) they (like many other religion groups) are indoctrinated in the judgmental bigotry of religious fundamentalism (e.g. their judgmental condemnation of and discrimination against LBGTQ), and (2) the modus operandi of the Hobby Lobby Family is (in my view) to promote Christianity as the religion of America… in violation of the Constitutional doctrine of Separation of Church and State (arising out of the “non-establishment” of religion clause of the 1st Amendment of the Bill of Rights).


Christianity is really about the “Message” of Jesus… the Man in Sandals who walked from Galilee to Jerusalem spreading the good news of the Golden Rule…

  • Acceptance, inclusion and “empowerment” of all of God’s children at the table of life.
  • Nonjudgment of all of God’s children. Jurors must judge. Judges must judge. Parents must judge (who their kids hang out with). Creditors must judge (who will repay them and who will stiff them).
  • But, “Judge not”… on moral grounds for the sake of “morality” alone.
  • Let God be the judge, as Pope Francis says (Whew, glad I am not a member of the “Morality Police”… too much work).
  • Forgiveness and Love… the two most powerful forces in the Universe.


“Love one another” ??? Never easy to do… as we humans still carry in our cave-man DNA, that tribal quest of greed, gluttony, hoarding and violently vanquishing those who are different. As a “Christian” (ironically, something Jesus never was and never called himself)… repeat, as a follower of Jesus, I am called upon to apply all the above, bullet points of Love to all of humanity and to all of God’s children, regardless of their race, color, creed, religion, sex, political beliefs and antagonistic personalities.

Love them. That is the command. It is a very tough command that I still find foreign to my nature. Confront ‘em. Challenge ‘em. Fight ‘em. Don’t love ‘em… all second nature to me. Love ‘em ??? Tough !!! So, following the Message of Jesus, the Man in Sandals, requires us to (somehow) stay the course, keep walking toward the light and shun the dark… kind of an everyday battle between what the cool of my intellect guides me toward versus what the heat of my emotion tells me to set on fire.


Does the Command to love another mean I have to “empower” ignorance ???… with a gentle smile and a “God bless you” and “Have a good day in your quest to spread ignorance” ??? Does the Command to love one another mean I must accept ignorance as a fact of the human condition ??? Yes. But, empower it ??? I tend to say, “No it doesn’t.” Examples ??? The political stakes are high in America. Democracy (more “Love” than authoritarianism) is at stake. World peace (the ultimate in “Love”) is at stake. Human rights (the quintessential of “Loving one another”) are at stake. These weighty issues of our own survival cannot flourish (let alone, exist) in the crucible of ignorance. These weighty issues of Love can only flourish in the presence of un-brainwashed minds, open minds, informed minds, knowledgeable minds and under the guidance of strong leaders who take counsel and wisdom from others, and then commit to the concept of Love… urging one and all to accept the principle that Love in Action consists in “empowering” others and suggests that “To whom much is given, much is expected.” 

Despite the command to love one another, doesn’t love also require all of us to be engaged in protecting “Love” itself and protecting “human rights” (the embodiment of Love) by fighting against non-love, against ignorance and against deprivation of human rights, at every step of the way, including…

  • The present battle against, Kim Jong Un of North Korea, Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia and those self-proclaimed Christian stalwarts, Vladimir Putin of Russia and Viktor Orban of Hungary, and, including…
  • Our own, right wing, Christian, U.S. Supreme Court’s “judgmental” pronouncements that seek to un-separate Church and State, so that those rightwing, Christian Justices can impose so-called, Christian virtue on the rest of America by (1) wrongfully allowing Christian prayers at City Council meetings over the objections of Jews (Town of Greece), (2) by wrongfully taking away a woman employee’s Federal, statutory right to “birth control” insurance coverage (under Obama Care)… because of the Little Sisters of the Poor’s “unprovable belief” that birth control is a “Sin” and (3) by allowing judgmental Christian “morality police” among us to refuse to provide their “open to the public” wedding services to LGBTQ (303 Creative)… even though gay marriage has been previously declared a Constitutional right. See also Separation of Church and State Relentless Assaults by… Mind Readers and True Believers.


So, how do you strike a balance ???… between the Command to love one another (including our enemies) on the one hand, and not empowering ignorance and deprivation of human rights on the other hand ??? Can we fulfill the Command to love one another while also shining the light of truth on ignorance, on judgmental bigotry, on indoctrination, on the lack of critical analysis, on the lack of logic and the lack of deductive reasoning (that you find in confirmation bias and in the deprivation of human rights… by both bad guys and by so-called, good guys of Right Wing, Christian organizations ???

Maybe loving one another requires us to “defend love” itself by challenging ignorance and “shunning” discrimination, confirmation bias, exclusion and “judgmental” non-acceptance… but with a tone that is commiserate with the context of the situation ??? Sometimes with a gentle touch, trying to be a voice of understanding and reason aka loving and kind. But, at other times and other contexts, with an unmistakable, straight forward approach of pulling no punches so we state our case and do not become “enablers” of ignorance.  

Despite the command to love one another, don’t we retain the right (and even the duty) to challenge the deficiencies of the hard-wired (non-teammate, rifle-toting Libertarians and judgmental Evangelical and right wing Catholic) we see all about us ??? Or, are my questions just showing my failure to comprehend the message of love, and my refusal to check my “get it on” ego ??? Are there valid and acceptable exceptions to the Command… love another ???

Is there an exception to the Command to Love one another for purpose of self-defense or defense of others ??? e.g. World War II, the Ukraine, or knocking some, hard-ass, “threatening” recalcitrant off his feet in the hardscrabble streets of life, or knocking my adversaries off their game in the (not so gentlemanly) confines of Courtrooms… where confrontation, cross examination and words are weapons to ferret out the real truth from bogus claims of truth ??? Indeed, shouldn’t the search for “truth” trump “Do unto others” ??? Shouldn’t the Love of Truth trump the Love of my Courtroom adversary ??? And, what of Capitalism, which (despite its 20th Century reforms) is still based on the concept of Laissez-Faire  competition… not loving your competitors, not doing unto them, but rather bankrupting them and taking their customers from them ???

How do we even reconcile Capitalism with the love of humanity ??? Capitalism (and marketplace competition) is the best economic theory I have seen in my lifetime when it comes to production of goods, competitive prices and available choices in the marketplace. But, the system of Capitalism fits the concept of “Survival of the Fittest” more than it does the Command to Love one another. Thank God, Labor Unions take a little sting out of Capitalism and bring a little more Love of one another to the economic realities of life. And what about the competition in College football, in the NFL and in the boxing ring ???. Destroy my opponents and knock ‘em out of the game, certainly helps win National Championships, Super Bowls and Heavyweight boxing titles… with large paydays ahead. But, at least with sports… we can say, “willing participants” that know what’s up before they ever get into the battle of survival of the fittest.

Wow. Maybe my analysis is too deep or too illusory. Maybe, my analysis of the Command to Love one another is just getting in the way of… well, getting in the way of the Command to Love one another. Translated, maybe I need to love more… so I don’t miss the point of loving one another by talking it to death. Reminds me of Louie “Satchmo” Armstrong, who… when asked to define Jazz, replied, “Man, if you gottsta have it defined, you’se never gonna understand it when you’se hear it.” Maybe, the Command to Love one another may just be another one of life’s unanswerable questions… where loving one another is just more complex in theory than it is in reality. But, in my own defense, the Command to Love one another is not only a challenge to implement… it’s also a challenge to fully understand and articulate.


My Father (a very natural, loving guy, much more so than I), always said, “Err on the side of kindness.” That modicum of introspection would do well to be in the forefront of my mind as I start off each, new day. My Father also said (perhaps quoting St. Thomas Aquinas) that Love is an “Act of the Will.” That must be true, or how else could you ever be urged to love your enemies… who (by definition) you don’t even like. With those two concepts in mind, I measure my life’s experience.

(1) It is easy to love those, non-threatening, underdogs and those fragile souls of life, who invoke natural sympathy, but

(2) So difficult to love the threatening, bold souls of life, especially… if they lack fair play and fundamental compassion for others.

The challenge for me (and, perhaps, you also) lies in loving those who just grate us (like the sound of chalk on an old-time chalkboard). Repeat, the challenge lies in loving those we just don’t like (emotionally). I, for one, must, therefore, try to remind myself to adopt the concept that Love is, indeed, an “Act of the Will.” Difficult ??? Yes. But I (we) cannot give up… because the “end result” of the Command to Love and to Forgive one another is “the” most powerful “influence of good will” that exists in our Universe.

So, despite my checkered past, I cannot give up. I will try to subordinate my emotional likes and dislikes to the God-given, “Free Will” of my finite intellect. Just writing this email, makes me challenge myself to be “intellectually honest.” And (with some modicum of introspection), my “intellectual honesty” tells me that… maybe, I am letting my warrior ego get in the way of truly loving others. If so, that’s on me. And, since I created that warrior ego over a lifetime, I must spend the rest of my life dismantling that very intergal part of who I am, and replace it with something I am working to become. That’s a challenge. But I’m up to it.

Love is kind, love is patient, love keeps no list of wrongs, love always forgives (Corinthians). Loving others is a very, very demanding calling. But, given the Power of Love, it is (seemingly) a goal that all of us must continue to pursue each and every day, anew… fail, fall down, be forgiven and then start all over, again. Kind of like a version of A.A. renamed L.A. for “Love Anonymous”… a love that recognizes that we are all sojourners in the same boat, pulling an oar, all of us Children of God with differing gifts and strengths of birthright (intellectually, emotionally and spiritually).

So, of all things, Love must really be patient, must really be kind and must really be forgiving. Great words (perhaps hallow words), coming, as they do… from a guy who intellectually understands the Command to Love and the Power of Love, but whose lack of emotional maturity makes it nigh impossible to carry out the Command to (in all circumstances) “Love one another.” I am always behind the 8 ball, when trying to love my fellow humans… especially when I just don’t like them emotionally or when I see them in a sea of (what I perceive to be) ignorance. But that “subjectivity” is tempered by the fact that I spent 81 years committed to and expending a ton of life’s energy trying, always trying, trying and trying again… to reduce my own ignorance.

Bottom line ??? Not an excuse, but I guess (based upon emotional immaturity and a fierceness of personality), I give in too often to my “go to the jugular” instinct and verbally attack with a broadside, and throw the “money changers” out of the debate face first… rather than listen to the same-o, same-o, bogus, uninformed arguments I have (usually) heard over and over again, over a lifetime. That’s what I lack… emotional maturity that would check my ego. That’s where I fall down, again and again. I am turning the heat up when Love requires me to turn the temperature down. Love is patient, Love is kind.

So, I am left with but a single strategy to try and follow the Command to love my Brothers and Sisters. I am left with a single coping mechanism. I am left to implore (all, on the spur of the moment) the strength of emotional maturity… to stand aside and allow an “Act of the Will” to have a say. To act and react, not out of egotistic emotion, but rather to intellectually tie into the Command to Love one another… before I open my prolific mouth with a prolific stream of hurtful words that, once utter, are sure to eliminate any possibility of Love (as we tend to receive back in life that which we send out). Lauck, hold your emotional tongue and your DNA’s need to vanquish, and intellectually turn on the neon light that says, “Message of Love via the Golden Rule in action here.” Translated… I must ask myself in each, daily encounter, how would I like to be treated if I were the other ??? I must, from jump street, try to put myself in their shoes, and ask, how I would like to be treated ???… if I was standing in their shoes, as opposed to my usual, “subjective” question… how do I think they deserve to be treated ??? Treat others as I would want to be treated if the shoe were on the other foot.

A guy like me (“nurtured” as I was, to be a champion of the underdog, and “natured” as I am to fly into the battle at a moment’s notice), always lived in a default “moneychanger changer” mode my whole life… just waiting in the wings to take on those whose philosophies were harmful to the interests of the Common Man and the Forgotten Woman (my own Mother and Father). I knew who I was quite early in life. As Catholic Central’s Father James Stoba told my 17-year-old self in 1960. “Fred you are a classic overachiever who has done a great job of overcoming your ‘Dull Normal I.Q.’ but I’m not sure you are cut out to be a lawyer because your aptitude testing shows you are just too confrontational. You are much more suited for farming.” A friend recently referred to me as an “anthropological accident” (Hey, that’s what I got Allstate Insurance for, right ???).

But thank heaven for my “Jesus in Action” role models from the distant past. I refer to the legacy of our Catholic Nuns and the good Priests… those whose imprint still lives within me. From their legendary Catholic School system (educating the masses) to their hospitals of compassion (caring for the masses), those good priests and nuns (year in and year out, decade in and decade out) tirelessly cared for millions of others. They lived the Message of “Love one Another”… not for their own personal advancement, but for the well-being of millions of other countless and grateful souls… Thank heaven, those Nuns and those priests left me with some examples of Love of Humanity that I can try to call-up… all these decades later in life, and do, what does not come natural to me. Follow the Jesus Command to Love others.


My Father’s words to me… Love is an Act of the Will. Employing the Golden Rule (to treat others as you would be treated) is an Act of the Will. But, the “incentive” (to treat others as you would be treated) can receive a supportive, emotional boost if we can… see ourselves in others. That’s it… plain and simple. To love others, let us first try to see ourselves in others.

And, seeing ourselves in others requires the application of “Universality” i.e. remembering what we humans have in common. We are all Children of God, first, and a member of some religious organization… second. We are all Citizens of the World, first, and a member of some patriotic, postage stamp of land, second. That way, we can see our, own reflection in the rest of humanity, and we can then implement the Golden Rule by (figuratively) tailoring our response to others as if they were us.



I know I will be criticized for saying so (but I suspect time will vindicate me). Our so-called, Great Religions must do their part to fulfill the Command to… Love one another. How ??? They must move toward the light of “non-judgment” and rid themselves of the claim that their religion is the “one and only, true belief system.” Why ??? Because that “one and only true belief” claim (even if it were true) is one of “exclusion” and “non-acceptance” of our fellow man and woman… the antithesis of love, inclusion, acceptance, empowerment and “judge not.”

One step further… moving toward the “Light of Love.” Rid ourselves of the remnants of the Patriarchal system of Jesus’ time and fall in line with gender-blind… by “empowering” everyone, men, women and children. To truly love one another, therefore, means that the path to the priesthood and Deaconship is open to all… regardless of race, color or sex. To say otherwise is to re-create the artificial categories of Jesus’ patriarchal times and say that… because something was backwards in the Patriarchal history of Jesus’ times… it must forever be so and must forever preclude enlightenment. No !!! That can’t be.

One step further… in moving us toward the “Light of Love.” Rid ourselves of the unprovable belief that religious systems have “all the answers” to the unanswerable questions of life and death. But thank heaven, in 19 years of Catholic Education, I have only one memory of one of my Catholic educators… claiming he had all the answers to life’s unanswerable questions.

That one memory ???… being told by a Catholic priest (in a college classroom with 35 other students) that anyone not baptized into Christianity with the holy water of Jesus (including a new born who dies moments after birth) will go to Hell for eternity (not Limbo, not Purgatory, but Hell for eternity). But, lucky for me, I had (7 years earlier) learned how to challenge that bogus claim… from a young, good-looking, Dominican Nun at St. Scholastica who taught my class the poem, Abou Ben Adam, in the 7th grade…


Abou Ben Adhem

Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase!)
Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,
And saw, within the moonlight in his room,
Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom,
An angel writing in a book of gold:—
Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,
And to the presence in the room he said,
“What writest thou?”—The vision raised its head,
And with a look made of all sweet accord,
Answered, “The names of those who love the Lord.”
“And is mine one?” said Abou. “Nay, not so,”
Replied the angel. Abou spoke more low,
But cheerly still; and said, “I pray thee, then,
Write me as one that loves his fellow men.”

The angel wrote, and vanished. The next night
It came again with a great wakening light,
And showed the names whom love of God had blest,
And lo! Ben Adhem’s name led all the rest.


But, I paid a price for challenging the good Father and ended up with the only F (F as in “Failed”) I ever had in the classroom… requiring me to go to Summer School to be eligible for Football in the Fall semester. But a single incident in 19 years of Catholic education is not bad. In fact, it’s an excellent track record. But those who claim they have all the answers to the unanswerable questions of life and death, inevitably, sow seeds of division, strife, enmity and non-love in the fertile fields of Humanity’s still lingering, Warrior DNA.

And, for us so-called, “Roman” Catholics, we might also want to heed what Irish Catholic Priest, Father Diarmuid O’Murchu, told us in his book, Christianity’s Dangerous Memory. When Rome adopted Christianity as the religion of the Roman Empire in the 4th Century A.D., Christianity went from the simple Message of the Man in Sandals to the top down structure of a brutal, Patriarchal, Roman Empire… an Empire that imposed its militarily might and imperial conquest on one and all… a top down, Patriarchal system that brooked no dissent and crushed thousands of dissenters with crucifixion… as they did with our leader, Jesus.

Rome’s bellicoseness and “brook no dissent” imperial authority preempted the Message and the Peace of Jesus, and off to the Crusades we went with our Warrior mentality to vanquish and conquer God’s Muslim children over a parcel of land so distant… it took forever to get there (before the real killing could even begin in earnest). And off we went to the execution of heretics and the Spanish Inquisition… with a dominating, Roman Christianity working in direct opposition to the Message of the Man in Sandals and his Command to Love one another.


Whenever I visit my old Catholic Central High School, I am joyously greeted with nothing but love from our present Catholic Central staff, including President Ed Turek and the Alumni Directors, Irish Danny Collins, Irish Tim Burke, Theresa Green, Jackie Marusek and historical archiver, Jim Gibbons. These fine men and women get Jesus and, I’m sure Jesus Gets Them. 

Our Catholic Central High School Priests and laity of the 1950s and 1960s tied into the Message of Jesus… never exalting “form” or “ritual” over the “substance” of the Message (something our Basilians have in common with Jesuits). I am quite confident that, despite all the growth in Catholic Central’s education system and in the unbelievable change in its Physical plant, the Message of Jesus (through their Basilian mentors and lay attendants) thrives in Love and in the Golden Rule. May it always be so… that Catholic Central is the gift that just keeps on giving to each, new generation, still echoing and reverberating in its 96 year-old journey…

  • From its founding in 1928 at Holy Rosary parish at Harper and Woodward (where my Father and his boys began),
  • To its second home at the Cathedral at Belmont and Woodard,
  • To our 6565 West Outer Drive Campus where my classmates and I were forged into steel,
  • To Kid Val Lauck’s Breakfast Drive experience in Redford in the 1980s, where he was forged into steel, and on and on…
  • To the Whiz Kids of today at Novi, Detroit Catholic Central… where young men are still immersed in a four-year boot camp of Goodness, Discipline and Knowledge.


Now, with the benefit of 20-20 hindsight, we all have a better understanding of what Father Elmer told us when he arrived at 6565 West Outer Drive in 1961… “Jesus is the reason… for Catholic Central.” 

And a shout out to Mercy High School and President Cheryl Kreger for giving my girls, Jessie Valentine and Frances Jean Lauck, what all of us got at C.C.’s School of hard knocks. A discipline… that eventually pounded the Message of Jesus into the thick brains of us slow witted, C.C. miscreants and recalcitrants… allowing us (with age and time) to finally understand the fortuitous gift of a rigorous College, preparatory education, accompanied by the historical Message of the Man in Sandals.


And all these long-winded remarks on Love from someone who (truth be known) knows very little of what he speaks, and next to nothing on how to “consistently” love God’s children, day in and day out. But I am a work in progress, and I ain’t done yet.

All criticisms of my thinking are welcome, because… I ain’t done learning yet, either.

Fred Lauck
C.C. Class of 1961