The pressure grows: It is the night before Valentine’s Day! Will Valentines come my way? Is there a special person in my life? How do I express the love in my heart? Normally, most of us think of Valentine’s Day as a romantic expression of love. We forget about its many formulas. I write in “Meet Me Under The Eiffel Tower” about the difference between love and lust. While we all tend to want a connection to another human being, it need not only be in versions of “romantic” love. There are so very many formulas to experience!
I have never read a more profound definition of love that that written by Robert O.Johann. I wanted to share it with you.
“Much has been written about love. But most of the writing, as Pere Teilhard de Chardin has remarked, concerns “only the sentimental face of love, the joy and miseries it causes us.” Relatively little has been set down about love as a way of life. And the power of love, which is the power of Being itself, has been all but passed over…
“The reason why an encounter with love moves us so deeply is that, no matter how humble and fleeting the gesture that embodies it, it dramatically recalls to us our own vocations as persons. For the person is not a mere element caught up in nature’s restless process…In the person, the transcendent power and creative free of God Himself are unleashed in their own right. To be a person is to share in Being itself and in Being’s creative concern for all that is…The person who lives as a person…is one who has learned that to be is to love, to spend oneself for others that they may more truly be, and that in the spending one is not impoverished but evermore deeply rooted in that limitless abundance on which one draws.
“This is the secret of love’s power over us. To be loved is to encounter Being itself, eternity in time, God’s face among the faces of men. The loving person translates for our benefit the exuberant life of God in human terms…In the one who loves us we hear God’s voice in the realm of everyday…The only thing is not to let it go unanswered.”
He seems to be saying love is not a vocation. As an extension of God we are asked to love more and differently throughout our lives. In all its many formulas, it is our call. The most important thing is “not to let it go unanswered.”
Happy Love Day!