Don Bosco Philippines South Province

Salesians of Don Bosco – Philippine South Province FIS

What is Love?

I had my catechism class with students from Kapayapaan reflect on the definition of Love. What is love? What is the best definition for it that encompasses the love of man and of God? We abound in so many definitions of the most sought after value in life. Perhaps our own shortcomings in defining it reflect on how much we have misunderstood it. The multiplicity of its definition may also reflect our own confusion and our helplessness in really making love our own.

I take Scott Peck’s definition of love as the better than the rest. I stumbled upon it when I was reading The Road Less Traveled. Scott defined it, in a nutshell, willing the good of another. You can read his definition from this Wikipedia entry. Here he distinguishes love, not as a feeling, but a willing. It is an active volition for another’s good.

I like the definition because it transcends the popular notion that love is a feeling. For if indeed it is a feeling, then it must be fleeting and temporary as all feelings are. But love stays and commits itself through the years, at best for a lifetime and eternity. It is not driven by hormonal changes but an active decision and indeed it is so.

Transcending further this psychological definition, I echo what the Church has always said, that Love is a Person, in the face of Jesus Christ. For man to know what love is, he must reflect and contemplate the life of Christ which is a complete, perfect, and exemplary testament of superlative Love. Not all men can accept this definition if one has no faith and faith is a gift. But in believing so can we truly see the real nature of Love that has ever since escaped and evaded our best definitions.


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