What does "Love" mean?


#21

[quote="cheezey, post:3, topic:324590"]
Had THE most excellent response to this today in Church. Best I have heard in YEARS. As soon as it is posted, I could link it. Yes?

[/quote]

PLEASE DO!! Love to read it!


#22

[quote="Chan26, post:1, topic:324590"]
The gospel for today included "I give you a new commandment: love one another."

The priest went on an on about love but never told us what "love" means.
What does it mean to love someone like the Boston Marathon Bombers? Can you apply Jesus' words, that "they know not what they do."

If "they know not what they do," how do you hold them responsible? How do you forgive them?--do we execute them but say we "forgive" them?
Are words like "love" and "forgive" and "enemies" just so much putty that we shape their meaning as we see fit. eg. "love the sinner but hate the sin." Is that expression how we let ourselves off the hook for our anger, revenge, etc.?

I find it easier to "love" and "forgive" the Boston bombers than someone who pushes me out of the way to beat me to the elevator or wont repay a loan they desperately needed.

I hope it's obvious platitudes or quoting Romans doesn't really answer what we ACTUALLY do to and feel about such persons as the bombers or the friend who wont pay the loan.
chan26

[/quote]

Love is to will the best or true good of another.

Love is the work we do inside of ourselves for God and the true good of another.

We confront the impatience inside of us to make life more pleasant for others. We push away the laziness in how we live so we can be of more service to others. We conquer our pride, vanity or our sensuality so we can be more for our spouse and children, etc.


#23

[quote="ricmat, post:17, topic:324590"]
How about this....

Love is wanting the best for the "other", for their benefit, not mine.
Love has nothing to do with feelings. Love is a choice, an act of the mind, not the heart.

We love our friends, "loved ones", and even enemies by wanting the "best" for them - which is defined as what Christ also thinks is best for us. We don't need to like our enemies, or our in-laws :rolleyes: but we do need to love them by wanting what is best for them.

As an opportunity for repentence, Jesus asked Peter 3 times if he loved him. He used a different word for love each time. The last time, the word for love implied giving up everything, including your life, for someone you love. Indeed, this is what Jesus did for us, and he asks us to do it too.

All love involves sacrifice. The ultimate love involves sacrifice of all that we have.

[/quote]

I like it. it seems very close to how Thich Nhat Hanh(Vietnamese Buddhist monk) defines love.
And for you, is "wanting the best for them" mean that you try to give them what they want? EG Someone asks for food, if you can, you give them food, not a lecture or try to convert them?
chan26


#24

[quote="Chan26, post:1, topic:324590"]
The gospel for today included "I give you a new commandment: love one another."

The priest went on an on about love but never told us what "love" means.
What does it mean to love someone like the Boston Marathon Bombers?
chan26

[/quote]

Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary defines love as "To will good to someone." In Catholic theology or interpretation of scripture love is a choice, an act of the will. It has nothing to do with feelings or emotions, only with the objective good as God would see it.

What ricmat said!


#25

[quote="Hunho, post:24, topic:324590"]
Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary defines love as "To will good to someone." In Catholic theology or interpretation of scripture love is a choice, an act of the will. It has nothing to do with feelings or emotions, only with the objective good as God would see it.

[/quote]

I have trouble with this :(

I am a person who percieves emotion in, on, and about just about everything (with both good and bad results). The concept of separating the "feeling of love" from "action" just baffles me.

(27 years of motherhood may have had some significant influence here).

I feel constantly, and actions spring from these feelings. I wish I could say I always feel love and the actions are always positive, but, of course, being human, they aren't. However I simply cannot imagine taking positive action without the emotion of love, though it may be higher or lower in my awareness.

Even with someone I have strong antipathy towards, there's still a feeling of empathy/love towards them that allows me to pray for them. I have to allow that feeling to prompt me to action, but again, it's feeling calling me to action. So I don't understand how it has nothing to do with emotions? Or is it just me and my perception of the words/world? Or ???


#26

[quote="littlenothing, post:21, topic:324590"]
PLEASE DO!! Love to read it!

[/quote]

as soon as it is posted.....:D


#27

[quote="CradleJourney, post:25, topic:324590"]
I have trouble with this :(

I am a person who percieves emotion in, on, and about just about everything (with both good and bad results). The concept of separating the "feeling of love" from "action" just baffles me.

(27 years of motherhood may have had some significant influence here).

I feel constantly, and actions spring from these feelings. I wish I could say I always feel love and the actions are always positive, but, of course, being human, they aren't. However I simply cannot imagine taking positive action without the emotion of love, though it may be higher or lower in my awareness.

Even with someone I have strong antipathy towards, there's still a feeling of empathy/love towards them that allows me to pray for them. I have to allow that feeling to prompt me to action, but again, it's feeling calling me to action. So I don't understand how it has nothing to do with emotions? Or is it just me and my perception of the words/world? Or ???

[/quote]

As a great priest coached me...."Feelings are like dogs. Feelings, like dogs, are good, because God made them. But feelings, like dogs, need an owner. Otherwise they make messes wherever they go"

Feelings need an owner: the will, informed by the intellect.


#28

The pouring of self, for the sake of another.


#29

[quote="Edward_H, post:27, topic:324590"]
As a great priest coached me...."Feelings are like dogs. Feelings, like dogs, are good, because God made them. But feelings, like dogs, need an owner. Otherwise they make messes wherever they go"

Feelings need an owner: the will, informed by the intellect.

[/quote]

So this would be like me using my intellect, to question and learn more about God, thus creating a structure that would result in "better" feelings and thus actions more in line with His plan?


#30

[quote="Hunho, post:24, topic:324590"]
Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary defines love as "To will good to someone." In Catholic theology or interpretation of scripture love is a choice, an act of the will. It has nothing to do with feelings or emotions, only with the objective good as God would see it.

What ricmat said!

[/quote]

To Will is to Desire, to Wish--how is that objective. You could, under duress, behead another and at the same time, desire their good.

More importantly to will, desire or wish is cheap. It requires nothing.It's an empty mind set., requires no action, no actual delivery of an act of kindness. EG I could stand at the edge of the ocean and will a drowning child to make it to shore but never lift a finger as the child drowns.
Finally, God knows everything, secretly and objectively demonstrated.
chan26


#31

That’s what the light bulb said–WATT?


#32

[quote="LegoGE1947, post:31, topic:324590"]
That's what the light bulb said--WATT?

[/quote]

carefeul, Lego my eggo, I'll wonder how many watts you have...
(tee hee)
I am still waiting for the Love article to be posted....will post a few seconds after they do....


#33

[quote="Chan26, post:23, topic:324590"]
I like it. it seems very close to how Thich Nhat Hanh(Vietnamese Buddhist monk) defines love.
And for you, is "wanting the best for them" mean that you try to give them what they want? EG Someone asks for food, if you can, you give them food, not a lecture or try to convert them?
chan26

[/quote]

What we want is not always what is good for us.

In the case of giving food, that is good isn't it?

Converting is also good. St. Francis suggested that we should convert others, and use words if we must. Giving food can kill 2 birds with one stone.


#34

[quote="Chan26, post:30, topic:324590"]
To Will is to Desire, to Wish--how is that objective. You could, under duress, behead another and at the same time, desire their good.

[/quote]

But that would violate the 5th commandment, and I'm not sure how that you could desire beheading as a "good".

[quote="Chan26, post:30, topic:324590"]

More importantly to will, desire or wish is cheap. It requires nothing.It's an empty mind set., requires no action, no actual delivery of an act of kindness. EG I could stand at the edge of the ocean and will a drowning child to make it to shore but never lift a finger as the child drowns.
chan26

[/quote]

I also said that "All love involves sacrifice."


#35

[quote="CradleJourney, post:29, topic:324590"]
So this would be like me using my intellect, to question and learn more about God, thus creating a structure that would result in "better" feelings and thus actions more in line with His plan?

[/quote]

Or letting your intellect inform your will. Like this: "Intellectually, Lord, i know that being a generous listener is an act of love...but emotionally, I am tired and worn out and I'd rather tune out granny and go drink a beer,....but, I know which action is more loving..so to my will I say..buck up and love generously...listen to granny for another hour...and to my feelings I say ...."heel...get back in the dog cage...out of love for God"


#36

[quote="ricmat, post:33, topic:324590"]
What we want is not always what is good for us.

In the case of giving food, that is good isn't it?

Converting is also good. St. Francis suggested that we should convert others, and use words if we must. Giving food can kill 2 birds with one stone.

[/quote]

Giving a person food is good. But what if you buy the person a McDonalds burger and they were expecting something more?:shrug:


#37

[quote="LegoGE1947, post:36, topic:324590"]
Giving a person food is good. But what if you buy the person a McDonalds burger and they were expecting something more?:shrug:

[/quote]

Having gratitude is a good too...so providing what they need vs want is also helping them confront their need for gratitude.


#38

[quote="Edward_H, post:37, topic:324590"]
Having gratitude is a good too...so providing what they need vs want is also helping them confront their need for gratitude.

[/quote]

Sometimes I think gratitude is a bigger need than what the person thinks they need.


#39

:thumbsup:


#40

I can say that much to my shame in the past people have given me things or help and I felt at the time that I was “entitled” to better than what they did for me. This includes God himself, sorry to say.:shrug: This seems to be a problem in todays society, a spirit of “entitlement”.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.