By Fr. Roy Cimagala
LET’S remember always that we are meant for loving. Love should be the very essence of our humanity as it is the very essence of God himself who created us to be his image and likeness, children of his, sharers of his life and nature.
Thus, when Christ was asked what the greatest commandment of God was, he readily said: “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Mt 22,37-39)
There are, of course, many manifestations, levels and aspects of love, including the fake ones. But we have to understand that the only true love and the fullness itself of love can only be achieved when we so identify ourselves with Christ that we can follow the new and ultimate commandment that he gave us: “Love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (Jn 15,12-13)
We have to understand that if we truly are in love, we would like to know how much love we are giving or living and whether the love we have is true love or is just an appearance of it. We know very well that we are fond of saying we love God and others, and yet at closer scrutiny, it’s really not love that we are giving.
We already are told that true love is a love without measure. It means that we just have to give ourselves more and more, without ever saying enough. True love goes all the way to the extent of giving one’s very own life for the beloved.
That is the subjective side of love which is already very commendable. We should try to do all to take care of that requirement of love. But we have to realize that even if we give ourselves completely to our beloved, we may still end up not truly loving. We need to realize that love has its objective nature. And that nature is what Christ told us about it.
He told us that the main object of our love should be God himself to whom we have to give ourselves with all our heart and mind. And because of him, we ought to love everybody else, since it is in the very nature of God to love all his creation, to man especially.
Even the devils are not exempted from this love. The problem is that the devils do not love God in return. God never ceases to love anyone even if that love is not reciprocated.
The objective nature of love is for us to love God by following his commandments, that is, doing his will. Christ himself said as much: “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” (Jn 14,15)
This is the ultimate of love. And this is the love we have to aim at. This we can only do if we truly identify ourselves with Christ. There’s no way we can have that kind of love unless we are vitally identified with Christ. It’s a love that is full of compassion and mercy, and is fully given even if not reciprocated.
Let’s ask for God’s grace and do whatever it takes, so we can have this kind of love and attain the fullness of love and the fullness of our humanity!