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What Love Is

by | Mar 17, 2021 | Chastity, Dad, Help, Husband, Love, Man, Nick's Notes, Virtues

Sacrificial love (Agape) is the fuel from which romantic love (Eros), friendship love (Philia), and family love (Storge) get their power. Since Jesus is the means for us to live out love, we must look toward the Eucharist – the actual body, blood, soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ; our Lord God and Creator of the universe – as our energy to live out love, truly and perfectly.  The Catechism of the Catholic Church, in Paragraphs 1323 & 1324, states that:

The Eucharist is “the source and summit of the Christian life.” “The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself, our Pasch. [1324]

“At the Last Supper, on the night he was betrayed, our Savior instituted the Eucharistic sacrifice of his Body and Blood. This he did in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the cross throughout the ages until he should come again, and so to entrust to his beloved Spouse, the Church, a memorial of his death and resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a Paschal banquet ‘in which Christ is consumed, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us.'”[1323]

The Eucharist is the antidote for concupiscence; the fallen nature ordered toward sin, which can be seen in selfish human love. Since God is love, and we are made in His image and likeness, it is our job to be like a mirror and perfectly reflect His image to the world. The Eucharist is the sacrament of true love, because it is Christ fully present – body, blood, soul, and Divinity – on earth, but veiled in the appearance of bread and wine. A ManHusbandDad must be Eucharistic centered. If he doesn’t become one with the Eucharistic Christ, his actions of “love” will fail, because they are not true Agape. Love can only be patient and kind, and everything St. Paul explains it to be in 1 Corinthians 13, if it is focused on Jesus. The Eucharist in its nature is Agape, because Jesus fully empties Himself as a gift of true love to humanity. The Cross is the ultimate image of love. If one were to draw a perfect image of what human love should look like, that image should be the crucified Jesus. In other words, the Eucharist is the fuel by which all of the four loves are purified and are able to live out the Twelve Righteous Virtues.

To understand love in greater depth, I recommend “The Four Loves” by C.S.Lewis, and the encyclical written by Pope Benedict XVI, titled “DEUS CARITAS EST”. When we see human love as a reflection of Divine Love, we will truly be able to live out our nature, which is to resemble God in His image and likeness.

May we live out the four loves that are appropriate to whatever Vocation we are in (religious life, Holy Matrimony, single life, or Holy Orders) by keeping our eyes always centered on the Eucharist, and our gaze fixed on the crucified Jesus.

I pray that the Divine Love from the Sacred Heart of Jesus may be filled in your heart.

Tell me what Love is to you?

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Nicholas Kovacs, OFS

Nicholas Kovacs, OFS

HOO™ Writer | Catechist | Independent Author

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