When I like you is enough, hope is enkindled with the possible fulfillment of reciprocal like. The fulfillment of that like springs forth new hope from this newfound mutual likeness, possibly turning into love. What an exciting time with endless possibilities, can’t you hear the music?! Then your hopes are realized with “I love you”, and it is enough. Until the hope is not renewed. Reality of life reveals itself and the rose colored glasses come off. Pause, wait, what? What did you mean by ‘I love you’?
Love is a sacrifice. A constant choice to put another before self. Acting together in choosing to put each other before self is true mutual love. A love that will stand the test of time and the test of trials. If your ‘I love you’ is only ‘I have feelings for you’ or ‘I’m attracted to you’, it is not enough. If your ‘I love you’ means ‘I will sacrifice for your wellbeing’ then you are headed in the right direction to love that endures.
Quoted more eloquently from the Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraph 1765 “There are many passions. The most fundamental passion is love, aroused by the attraction of the good. Love causes a desire for the absent good and the hope of obtaining it; this movement finds completion in the pleasure and joy of the good possessed.”
“Love is to will the good of another as other.” St. Thomas Aquinas. True love is an act of the will, willing the good of the other person no matter how the outcome affects you. That act of will is true love, the sacrifice of self, the same self-sacrifice Jesus Christ made on the cross. Jesus loved us and wanted our salvation so badly that he endured torture and humiliation. He took on all the sin of the world and offered himself up to God. He did this for us, as the true meaning and perfect example of Love.
Sacrifice? What is all this talk of sacrifice? Where is the Passion in this love you are telling me about?
The Catechism of the Catholic Church states in paragraph 1763 “The term “passions” belongs to the Christian patrimony. Feelings or passions are emotions or movements of the sensitive appetite that incline us to act or not to act in regard to something felt or imagined to be good or evil.” Another christian meaning of passion IS suffering and sacrifice. That is why we call the terrible suffering of our Lord, The Passion of Christ. If you think Passion in love is painless, you have never had real passion, you have only possessed lust. There is a stinging truth to the saying Love Hurts.
An example of true love is laid out for us in Ephesians 5:21-28 “Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, be subject to your husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. Even so husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.”
Men are to lay down their lives as a sacrifice, just as the Lord did for his bride, The Church. Women are to allow their husbands this act of sacrifice and follow him within the mission of the family towards holiness. The whole point of sacrificial love is holiness, holiness that leads to happiness! Happiness is what we all long for in hearing the words I love you from the free choice of our beloved, also being able to hear it from God when we see Him face to face.
Eternal Joy is the final goal of hope that we should all be working toward in our lives of love and sacrifice. A goal that is only fulfilled at the end, so it won’t leave you wanting more, or feeling like it’s never enough. The love that we receive from God now and upon our entrance to heaven will be worth the sacrifices and suffering in this life.
Are you ready to say “I love you”?
1. If you are in a relationship now, What are your hopes? Have some hopes been fulfilled? What are the hopes of the other person?
2. What are your fears? What holds you back from realizing these hopes?
3. Have you or would you make sacrifices in light of love?
4. Are you willing to hope in the future, lay down your life for another and submit to the mission of holiness for the sake of your happiness?
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