Discussing Christian Concepts of Love


#1

I wonder if you could help me with something?

I’ve been chatting to a friend of mine who is a Buddhist and I think I have held my end up rather well. Certainly his attitude to Christianity is altered as a result of our discussion, he has developed a greater sense of reason and doesn’t think all Christians are blind fundamentalists.

I tend to talk about love quite a lot. God is love, we experience God in the love we feel for each other, love one another as I have loved you etc. His attitude to love is quite different from anything I have thought about before.
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[FONT=Arial]The general concept as I understand it is that love is not something you experience from someone else - you perceive behaviors you interpret as love through your senses. This can either engender feelings of reciprocal love or hate - depending on how you feel about that person I guess. [/FONT]
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[FONT=Arial]Yet, in terms of what Buddhists call metta (lovingkindness) - you can only experience that by manifesting it. It’s basically unconditional - or love that manifests as a result of entering “the view” - non-dualist perception. In short, if people lack love in their life, the best way to get it is to give it more. The main crux of this is that love is not a thing in itself - it is dependent on the observer and the observed and their method of perceived interaction.

Since this is dependent on a mind, if that mind is broken - then love would be hard to manifest; it cannot exist as a thing without us.[/FONT]
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[FONT=Arial]How/ what do we think about love as Catholics? How do these Buddhist ideas enhance or challenge our Catholic concept of love?[/FONT]


#2

I’d suggest first reading the encyclical “God is Love.”

I’d add that Christian love is not just a feeling, it is a choice.


#3

Some things to think about concerning love:

A variation on what chrysostom15 stated above is that “Love is not an emotion. It is an act of the will.”

A wise professor at Franciscan University said that “Love is to will the good of the other.” If we truly love someone, we want what is genuinely best for them, which is the attainment of Heaven.

Furthermore, the sincerest manifestation of love is union with the person who is loved. Marriage is an example of this. The two become one in union. Our relationship with God is another example. The goal of our relationship with Him is to be united with Him in Heaven.


closed #4

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