“Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another;
for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.” From Romans 13:8-10
An old song asks the question: “What is Love?’
It is freeing to know that we enter life owing nothing to anyone but Love. But then we encounter two perennial problems. First, we get the true meaning of Love muddled in the semantics of the ever present popular culture. Second, we forget the core commandment of Christ and succumb to the silliness of ‘people pleasing’ and the manipulation of others.
Defining Love without the objective, unchanging Truth of God found in Scripture and Tradition is like finding two snowflakes that are exactly the same. Relativism turns definitions into a childlike game without any rules. Love becomes mere fondness, emotional attraction, physical turn on, and a high intensity ‘like.’ But Love, in its core meaning, theologically, and in classical philosophy, ‘seeks for the good of another’ in Truth, and, quite often, in much personal suffering.
So, Love seeks for the good of another in Truth, within the Paschal Mystery of Christ.
Therefore, Love isn’t ‘people pleasing,’ and it involves no manipulation of the other. Therefore, to Love, the disciple must protest Planned Parenthood, vote with their Catholic conscience, deny their hard earned money to businesses which support ‘the culture of death’ and the diminishment of religious freedom, and speak truthfully about marriage, family, and human sexuality, even if it hurts.
But how can we carry this burden on our own?
“He dawns through the darkness, a light for the upright;
he is gracious and merciful and just…Lavishly he gives to the poor;
his generosity shall endure forever.” From Psalm 112:1-2, 4-5, 9
Made in the Image of God, we are graciously accepted into the family of God, adopted, through the perfect humanity of Jesus Christ. When our energy, creativity, courage, or faith wavers, we can always turn to Christ in prayer, Scripture, Eucharist, confession, or a fellow disciple, for the grace to continue the good fight of Love.
Yet, there are battles we can never win on our own, in our limited time here on earth.
“Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me
cannot be my disciple…In the same way,
everyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions
cannot be my disciple.” From Luke 14:25-33
So, we must carry our cross, in union with Christ, in carrying out the battle of Love in Truth. That we can do with His Grace. But there are some things we will never be able to do. In our lifetime, we will never change the world completely. Honestly, even if we achieve greatness, we will only change it slightly. We are not divine, but human. Yet, through faith, hope, and eternal charity, we are part of God’s victory…if only we dispossess our feeble attempt at total control.
Love is the battle for another, in Truth.
Jesus Christ is the perfect battler.
Surrender of our will to God the Father assures participation in victory.