Part 3: Humans Deserve Only Love

13 01 2010

To whom love is directed?

JP II said that, “the person is a good toward which the only proper and adequate attitude is love.” This understanding is the basis of JP II’s teaching about love, and he calls it the personalistic norm. That’s a fancy way to say that human persons deserve only the best – they deserve love, and we should never treat anyone with less than love.

Real love is not one-sided, thus it is not only about giving but receiving as well. It takes humility and gratitude to warmly receive another’s love, allowing them to give of themselves freely.

According to JP II, there are 3 aspects of love that can be summarised as follows:

  1. Love as Attraction: Recognizing the good of another person; seeing the inner and outer beauty of another person.
  2. Love as Desire: Wanting a good for yourself; desiring goodness & happiness.
  3. Love as Goodwill: Willing or desiring the good of another person.

Love is not selfish, it is generous. Willing the good of another is closest to the love with which God loves us. The word used to describe this type of love is AGAPE.

So, if a young man really loves a girl, he would do what is best for her. He would guard her body, as well as her soul, and would not expose her to the risks such as – breakups, single motherhood, abortion, poverty, STDs, depression, divorce, multiple sexual partners, out-of-wedlock pregnancy. Likewise, out of love for the guy, a young woman would not causing him to experience many of the same consequences. She also would not give a guy sex for the sake of feeling loved. Together, the two should do what is best for each other no matter how strong the temptations may be. This isn’t easy, but real love never is. Perhaps that’s why it seems so rare.

Loving vs Using

This is the greatest commandment¬† that Jesus gave us: “Love one another, as I have loved you” (John 13:34).

How is it that Jesus loved us?

  • He gave all of himself for us as He willed us to be saved.
  • He gave his own life so that we might live.

This is the essence of the home-made John 3:16 posters.

JP II teaches that the opposite of love is not hate. Rather, it is the using of persons. This philosophy of using people for one’s own gain is called utilitarianism. They focus on maximizing their pleasure and minimizing their pain, pleasing themselves at the expense of others. While desiring good things for oneself is good, if love end there, it becomes a lifeless form of selfish survival. God’s love doesn’t bring heartache, depression, guilt or loneliness. God’s love is life-giving.

Dominus vobiscum et cum spiritu tuo!

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