The beauty of love

Quiet Storm by Fr. Nick F. Lalog II, 07 November 2019

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Love can never be defined because it is a reality that cannot be restricted to certain parameters unlike other words or virtues or concepts for that matter.

The most we can do about love is describe it.

And, live it — as St. Paul has been telling us this week in our daily readings.

Let love be sincere; hate what is evil, hold on to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; anticipate one another in showing honor.

Romans 12:9-10
Photo by Ms. Jo Villafuerte, Atok, Benguet, 01 September 2019.

There lies the beauty of love, in being sincere, being true.

Not fake as we know and must have experienced somehow.

Sincere literally means “without plaster” that came from two Latin terms, sin for without and cero for plaster.

In ancient Rome, good sculptures were highly prized, must be “sin cero” – no plaster and purely carved out from wood or stone. Like in the usual practice today, some sculptors “fake” their work with plasters (masilya) to cover uneven surface or disfigured portion that eventually wears out.

To love sincerely means loving like Jesus without strings attached, not expecting anything in return.

But, how can we love sincerely when others are so untrue with their love to us? How can we hate evil and hold on to what is good when people continue to hurt us, or oblivious to their wrongdoing and sins? Most of all, how can we anticipate one another with honor when nobody seems respectable at all these days?

It is always difficult to love because it is also difficult to be true when everything is artificial these days.

And that makes love beautiful not only because it is true but it is something we assert and insist despite the many evils around us.

Violets in our old sacristy, 2016.

Love becomes more beautiful when it is hurt and rejected, continuing to love, doing good and showing kindness even if others are not true because it is only then in pains and sufferings when more love is born and summoned from within us.

The more tears we shed, the more love flows to clean the mess.

Love never runs out, never dries up like a well or a river. It is the greatest virtue and gift we can have as St. Paul tells us in another letter because in the end, only love remains as it is from God who is Love himself.

When our love is true, no matter how untrue are the people around us, for as long as we love in Christ, the more we are able to love, the more love we have to share and give. The more we love, the more love we receive; withhold love, keep love to yourself, that is when you lose love.

Photo by Mr. Chester Ocampo, multi-media artist, and teacher (October 2019).

Brothers and sisters: owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.

Romans 13:8

During his last supper, Jesus mentioned to his Apostles about his new commandment of loving each other as “I have loved you”.

Though other ancient sages have taught about love or similar attitudes especially in the East long before Jesus Christ’s coming, his commandment was new because it is a love rooted in God. More than a moral prescription or a code of conduct as seen in other religions and cultures, Christian love is so unique because it is rooted in God who is love himself.

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s first encyclical issued on Christmas 2005.

Love is the only thing asked of us by God; hence, any failure to love is always a sin.

How sad that in this age of affluence and sophistication in terms of technology and knowledge, men and women are getting more isolated and alienated, giving rise to hosts of mental illnesses that lead into rising incidence of suicides worldwide.

One usual complaint of many people, young and old alike, is the lack of love. They always ask “where is the love?” even in the midst of every relationship that have become transactional in nature, forgetting the human face longing for affection, crying inside, alone.

Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another because it is love that defines us; without love, we are nothing.

To live is essentially to love.

If you have love in your heart, you have been blessed by God; If you have been loved, you have been touched by God.

Author unknown

Love and let someone be touched by God today!

Photo by Dra. Mai B. Dela Pena, Holy Land, 2016.

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