« All Reflections

What more can you say about love?!

February 20 @ 4:47 pm

As the world gets ready to celebrate St. Valentine’s Day, exchanging sweet notes of love and kindness, we naturally turn to the topic of love, considering once again this great mystery.  Saint John boldly states in his letter, “God is love.”  He doesn’t say God is loving, lovable, or even that He is a great lover- although He is all of these.   He writes, “God is love.”  The very essence of God is LOVE.  But what is LOVE?  St. Thomas Aquinas says, “To love is to will the good of another.” (Deus Caritas Est)

Our faith teaches that the Holy Trinity is a communion of love– the Father pours Himself out to the Son; the Son receives everything from the Father and, in turn, pours Himself out to the Father. The Holy Spirit is the love outpoured between the Father and the Son.  Mankind is created in this image of Divine Love and brought into communion with God through baptism and the other sacraments.  Because of this, the human person comes to know himself most fully when he/she is loved and in turn, loves others.   St. John Paul II says, “Man cannot live without love.  He remains a being that is incomprehensible for himself, his life is senseless, if love is not revealed to him.”  (Redemptor Hominis, 10)   

In the Sacrament of the Eucharist, God’s love is renewed in a personal way for each person! It’s as if God says to each person in Holy Communion, “This is my Body given for you.  This is how much I love you!”  The Greeks had different words for different kinds of love, but the highest, agape, was a self-sacrificial love.  Pope Benedict said, “We can thus understand how agape also became a term for the Eucharist: there God’s own agape comes to us bodily, in order to continue his work in us and through us.”  (Deus Caritas Est, 14)

May each one of us on this Valentine’s Day be renewed in the awareness of God’s love for us, echoing with gratitude the words of the Psalmist, “How can I make a return to the Lord for all the good He has given to me?  The cup of Salvation I will take up, and call upon the name of the Lord!”  ~Psalm 116: 12