Each morning as I awake, I am always greeted by those wide brown eyes so eager to express her hello. She jumps at me and hugs me. All day long she will always be by my side eagerly waiting on me. At times she wanders off, but not for long, for she comes back running to be by my side again. How I love it!
But she is my large Labrador dog and even if she wags her tail in ecstasy of my company or keeps on licking my feet in adoration, this is not the kind of love I seek. I need something more interesting and fulfilling. If I expect this kind of love from my loving wife, Emma, I am sure our relationship will not last this long. I will be bored. And I am sure Emma will not allow herself to act like a dog.
What is love? Is it in between the singing “Love is a many splendor thing” to bathing in tears your loved one who is dying and saying “Love is never having to say I am sorry”?
To some who have been so afraid to be in love, or to those who have hated having loved, they have shrunk their world to accommodate only their own self. How lonely and sad! There are also those who have loved and lost, or those who have loved only in their dreams. They have spent their life time looking for that deceptive love and acting like Don Quixote chasing the windmills in their minds. They are living in an unusual world and have allowed themselves an out-of-the ordinary way of loving, which we adjudge as a foolish way of living.
St. Paul teaches us how to love in his letter to the Corinthians:
“Love is patient and kind; it is not jealous or conceited or proud; love is not ill-mannered or selfish or irritable; love does not keep a record of wrongs; love is not happy with evil, but is happy with the truth.
Love never gives up; and its faith, hope, and patience never fail”.
Love is about relationships between persons, but some of us love ourselves and our possessions – self love, my house, my car, my garden, my dog, etc. Many of us love our work. We become so attached to our object of love that we exclude the person who needs our love most.
Notice those who get irritated unreasonably when their little children drop crumbs on the seat of their car or who can kill once their car gets scratched or bumped. How about the person whose whole being is dedicated to his work with his world revolving around it? Intrusion into his love territory always elicits irritation; he becomes short tempered and morose. He is difficult to love and cannot love back.
Love is not about sex or about animal love. It is different with animals. They express their love quickly and efficiently. It is only for procreation and nothing more. Notice the chickens making love. The rooster mounts and dismounts in a split second; flaps his wings and crows to the world that he has the power to multiply; and then goes out to seek for another engagement. The hen simply fluffs her feathers as if nothing happened and goes on her merry way. This is animal love and is not for us. We should love differently and in a more meaningful way.
Perhaps the reason why we have population explosion is that many of us love like chickens. Increasing the volume of noise or placards used in rallies or passing more laws will not correct the problem. The change has to happen within us.
Others use as an excuse the limitation of our vocabulary that has only the word “love” to express love. We say I love instead of I like, I desire, I lust, and the like. Do we not say to someone “I love you” just to win her/him over to join you in whatever desires you want to do? But the funny thing is, we don’t say often “I love you” to the one we truly love and who needs the assurance of our unfailing love.
We should learn from God what love is all about and how to truly love. Love is not only about sex and romance nor about feelings and emotions. Consider that one Christmas day when God decided to humble Himself and lived among his beloved. True love is a decision to stretch oneself to include your beloved to become a part of your life. It can be a joyful experience or a painful sacrifice, nevertheless a decision has to be made. The beloved may not even be that eager to love you back.
Consider the Man-God, who lived among us. He was teaching, modeling, encouraging, reprimanding, praying for, and even giving away His life for the benefit of the His beloved. In return, we glorify God and give Him joy when or if we decide to love Him back.
True love’s only purpose must be for the good of both lover and the beloved. True love is for those who have the capability to love and be loved.
Consider that Jesus waited for thirty years. As a human, He needed the nurturing from His parents and learned from them how to love. Only when He was ready to love others did He engage in His mission.
Love is precious. It should not be squandered. One should first be ready to love and should love according to the limits of his capability to love. One cannot be a “Salvador del mundo” and foolishly reach out to as many people as possible only to be exhausted and without substantial results.
It is a good thing that BCBP has a new formation program. A year is a good time to prepare our selves to love and to learn how to love properly. Let’s all learn to love again, the right way!
As for me, I like my dog but I do not love her.