Love makes the difference PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 08 July 2018 16:13

REFLECTION

THE use of our senses and all our other human powers and faculties depends on the motive and spirit that drives them. Their quality and ultimate purpose will also depend on the same motive and spirit.

If we would just be motivated by worldly values, then most likely we can only discern what is effective and beneficial in the persons, things and situations around us in terms of convenience, practicality, profitability, popularity, etc., and hardly anything beyond.

If we are only or mainly interested, for example, in earthly or physical beauty, then we can only appreciate colors, shapes and feels that are pleasant to our eyes and to the other senses and human faculties we have.

Our senses and human faculties are tools and instruments at best, and they need to be guided and animated properly. They actually just cannot be left on their own, or left to their own devices, so to speak, mainly at the mercy of biological, physical, chemical laws, or some social, political, economic, cultural and historical trends and conditionings.

Given our innate dignity as persons and children of God, our senses and faculties need to be animated by the spirit of God no less. And this can only mean that they have to be guided and driven, in the end and always, by the theological gifts of faith, hope and charity. We are not merely animals guided by instincts alone.

In this way, our senses and human faculties would not get stuck in the level of the sensible and the intelligible, but would help us in our entering into the spiritual and supernatural aspects of our life. We are meant for this kind of life because of our rational nature that is spiritual in character and therefore ought to be animated by the supernatural spirit of God.

If we are driven by faith, hope and charity, we, for example, would get to see and look at persons, things and events differently. We would not be confined only to appearances and feelings.

We would look at things with a higher and nobler purpose and get to see more than shape, color and size. We would get to see love, even if things involve suffering. In fact, suffering becomes a clear touchstone of love. As one love song would put it, “I’ll be looking at the moon / but I’ll be seeing you.” That’s the difference love makes.

This point about love, the real love that comes from God, making a difference in our life is important and urgently needed for us to learn nowadays. And that’s simply because we cannot deny that at the moment we are simply wallowing on shallow, passing and ephemeral realities, offering us no stability and pledge of eternal life and happiness that our heart actually is yearning for.

Even if things now look exciting and absorbing, they are only passing realities. They don’t last. Sooner or later, we would get bored by them, and boredom is a clear sign of the absence of love. With regard to this, St. Paul already warned us that we who “use the things of this world should not be dependent on them, for this world in its present form is passing away.” (1 Cor 7,31)

In fact, the more exciting and absorbing they are, the more wary we should be and more determined to keep our senses and faculties on the right foundation and orientation.

That’s the reason why Christ told us very clearly that if we want to follow him, we need to deny ourselves and carry the cross. (cfr Mt 16,24) There’s no other formula in life that is proper for us to follow.