Sunday, October 26, 2014

I love...


I absolutely love....  CHIPOTLE!  Once I knew there was a Chipotle in Amherst, I knew I was going to be OK.

I love... Amazon Prime!  I love that I can order things and days later they appear in the office.  I get everything from there.

I love... my nieces and nephew and my family.

I love... being a priest.

I love... Jennifer Lawrence, Sandra Bullock, and Julia Roberts.

I love... my pastor, Fr. Martello.

I love... dark chocolate covered almonds.

I love... going to the movies.

I love... the people at my parish and all the friends I have made over the years.

I love.... God.

Love can be used in a lot of different ways and mean a lot of different ways.

In the English Language we only have one word for love.  So it's used in a lot of different ways.

The Greeks, which the Gospels were written in, had many different words for love with very specific meanings.

Here are the four most common:

Storge (στοργή storgē) means "love, affection" and "especially of parents and children" It is natural affection, like that felt by parents for offspring. Almost exclusively as a descriptor of relationships within the family. It is also known to express mere acceptance or putting up with situations, as in "loving" the tyrant.

Philia (φιλία philía) means "affectionate regard, friendship," usually "between equals."  It is a dispassionate virtuous love.  Philia is expressed variously as loyalty to friends, family, and community, and requires virtue, equality, and familiarity. Philos denotes a general type of love, used for love between family, between friends, a desire or enjoyment of an activity, as well as between lovers.

Éros (ἔρως érōs) means "love, mostly of the sexual passion."The Modern Greek word "erotas" means "intimate love." It can also apply to dating relationships as well as marriage. Plato refined his own definition: Although eros is initially felt for a person, with contemplation it becomes an appreciation of the beauty within that person, or even becomes appreciation of beauty itself. Eros helps the soul recall knowledge of beauty, and contributes to an understanding of spiritual truth, the ideal "Form" of youthful beauty that leads us humans to feel erotic desire – thus suggesting that even that sensually based love aspires to the non-corporeal, spiritual plane of existence; that is, finding its truth, just like finding any truth, leads to transcendence.  Lovers and philosophers are all inspired to seek truth through the means of eros.

Agápe (ἀγάπη agápē means "love: esp. brotherly love, charity; the love of God for man and of man for God."  Agape is used in the biblical passage known as the "love chapter," 1 Corinthians 13, and is described there and throughout the New Testament as brotherly love, affection, good will, love, and benevolence.  Whether the love given is returned or not, the person continues to love (even without any self-benefit). It can also be described as the feeling of being content or holding one in high regard. Agape is used by Christians to express the unconditional love of God for his children. This type of love was further explained by Thomas Aquinas as "to will the good of another."

So when Jesus is asked:  

"Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?" He said to him,
"You shall love the Lord, your God,

What kind of love is he referring to?  What is the original greek that was used?  

Ἀγαπήσεις  "You will love (the)..." 

It is the love of Agape that he means.  It is the unconditional love that "wills the good of another."  It means loving God in the way that God loves us.  Agapic love for God is loving God without expecting anything in return.  It means loving God even if don't feel His presence or receive His gifts.  It means loving God so much so that we want God's will to be done even more than our own.  This is the first and the greatest of all the commandments.  

But I love that he follows up this Agapic love "You shall love the Lord, your God..." with 

with all your heart,
with all your soul,
and with all your mind.  

What this means is that we are not only supposed to love God but BE IN LOVE with God!  

We are supposed to have all of these loves: Storge, Philia, Eros, and Agape for God.  

With all of our heart... 
When we think of the heart we think of falling in love.  This is the erotic love for God.  Just a as couple falls in love with each other, gets engaged, married, and enjoys their honeymoon.  We are to love God with all of our heart - to fall in love with Him.  To want to do everything that He does, to go anywhere just because we are with him, to do anything for him.  

with all of our soul, 
this begins with the Storge, the natural love, but goes beyond to the supernatural.  We are called to have this natural love for God, this inborn love of our Creator, but it should expand to all of our soul.  That we truly love him as we would "a soul mate".  This is the Philia love, the brotherly love, the love of just being together with your best friend and doing things with the one you love.  

We are also to love God with all of our mind.  If you think about the places our minds go especially with erotic love (think Fifty Shades of Grey).  All of our mind should be in love with God.  That means that every thought at every moment we should be completely preoccupied with God.  Our thoughts wholly directed to him... this is what the saints mean when they say pray always.

The question is: "Do you love God?"

Do you love God with all of your heart?  Are you in love with God?

Do you love God with all of your soul?  Is Jesus your "soul-mate"?  Do you want to share every adventure with Him?

Do you love God with all of your mind?  Do you think about God with all of your mind?  Is your mind consumed with God?  Does God direct everything that you think and do?

This is the FIRST and GREATEST commandment.   To love God and be in love with God.  

Pedro Arrupe was serving as the Superior of the Jesuits’ Japanese Province when he was elected Superior General of the Society of Jesus in 1965. He held the position until 1983.

His prayer is a wonderful expression of the first and greatest commandment.  

Fall in Love

Attributed to Fr. Pedro Arrupe, SJ (1907–1991)

Nothing is more practical than
finding God, than
falling in Love
in a quite absolute, final way.
What you are in love with,
what seizes your imagination, will affect everything.
It will decide
what will get you out of bed in the morning,
what you do with your evenings,
how you spend your weekends,
what you read, whom you know,
what breaks your heart,
and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.
Fall in Love, stay in love,
and it will decide everything.

From Finding God in All Things: A Marquette Prayer Book © 2009 Marquette University Press.

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