The Definition of Love

The climate of our culture shows that we have forgotten the true definition of love.  Instead of searching for truth, we settle for the counterfeit.  This true and authentic love has been distorted through our inordinate curiosity with sex.  The conjugal act of sexual intimacy is not a bad thing, it’s a great thing!  Unfortunately, there has been both a dissociation between love and sex and a misunderstanding that love is unanimous with sex which, in turn, has perverted the act of sex and confused the meaning of love.

Sex should be understood as the complete and total giving of oneself to another person.  Love does not take; love gives.  Someone who is filled with lust has sex for their own pleasure.  They take, they steal, and are incapable of giving anything because they have been blinded by the deceptions of lust, which only focuses on the self.  Someone who is filled with love has sex for the purpose of procreation and to give of themselves for their spouse.  Yes, sex is an act of love, but love does not always mean the act of sex.

So what is love?  There seems to be a vast number of answers, but many of those answers are subjective, based only on their own feelings or opinions.  People will say that they feel that love is this, or they think that love is that.  News flash, people!  There is no “I” in love!  Love is not about you, and it is not your job to define it.  God defines love.  God is love.  And if God is love, then the only way to know the true meaning of love is to know God.

Fr. John Hardon, S.J. states, “The love of concupiscence, or self-interested love, means that another is loved for one’s own sake as something useful or pleasant to the one who loves. The love of friendship means selfless love of another for that person’s own sake, for his or her good, to please him or her; it is the love of benevolence.”  In essence, Fr. Hardon is saying that love, true love, means willing the best of another.  Love is not a feeling, or an emotion.  Love is an act of the will.  To will the best for another!

If you honestly care to see what love looks like, look no further than the crucifix.  Yes, true love involves sacrifice, suffering, and death – even death on a cross.  In order to love, we must die.  We must die to ourselves.

We all know that one cannot give what one does not have.  It’s impossible to love when you do not understand what love is.  Love is divine!  It’s supernatural!  And we cannot redefine what love is just because it doesn’t meet our sexual desires.  So please, go and die – die to yourself.  Let your life be an example of the love of God for others, so that they too may come to know His love.

 

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