By Fr. Roy Cimagala
INDEED, if our love is true, that is, it is a love that is a vital participation of God’s love for all his creation, especially for man, then it is open to anything. That love remains steadfast and continues to grow and to be creative irrespective of how it is received by the object of such love.
It can be received well or not, it can be reciprocated generously or be betrayed. Regardless of the fate it falls into, that love will remain faithful. Thus, St. Paul once said: “If we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.” (2 Tim 2,13)
This basic truth about true love should be known and appreciated by everyone of us, and especially those who are into some commitments, like married people and those with special vocations. They have to pattern their love and sense of commitment after God’s love.
When God, for example, decided to create the universe, which he did not have to do since he is already all perfect, needing nothing, he did so out of pure love. And this pure love can be seen in its highest degree when he created angels and men where he took the risk that his love and goodness would not be reciprocated properly.
God was and is open to anything because of pure love. This is the kind of love that we should try our best to cultivate in ourselves too. It’s purely gratuitous, and even more, it will do everything to recover the beloved even if the latter not only not corresponds to that love but also betrays and goes against that love.
That is why when someone tells me that he is doubting whether he really has the vocation to the priesthood because of a certain problem or difficulty he is encountering, or whether she has to remain with her husband who has been found to have cheated on her, etc., I would simply tell her to look at God, at Christ, who even told us to love our enemies.
Many people think that love is all sweet and beautiful. That, of course, is the ideal state of love which can only take place in heaven, when everything is resolved. And it’s good that we look forward to that ideal state and do everything to at least have an anticipated taste of it.
But while here on earth, our love cannot avoid suffering. In fact, our love would be proven genuine when lived in the crucible of all kinds of suffering here on earth. This truth about love should be more highlighted these days.
This is what Christ has shown us with his passion and death. That is why he once said that “greater love has no man than this, that a man lays down his life for his friends.” (Jn 15,13)
Let us hope that we can hear less and less complaints and lamentations whenever some difficulty and suffering would come our way in carrying out our duties and living out our commitments and vocation. Rather, let us hope that more and more of us would welcome these difficulties and suffering, seeing in them opportunities to grow and develop a greater love.
Let us remember that love by definition has no limits. It is given without measure, without calculation. With Christ, we can learn to have this kind of love.
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