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The forcefulness of love

It’s true! Where there is love, there is also some kind of forcefulness, an abiding state of being driven despite the variations of our bodily and other earthly conditions. Where there is love, we can only echo what Christ himself said: “I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing!” (Lk 12,49)

Where there is love, we would be clear about what the real and ultimate purpose of our life is, we would have a good sense of direction even if we are presented with many alternative options, we would not mind the many difficulties and challenges we can encounter as we go along. In fact, we would find great meaning in them.

This is the ideal condition for all of us. Even if we are endowed only with the most phlegmatic and melancholic temperaments, something must be burning inside our heart that cannot help but burst into a flame, a flame of love, of self-giving, of serving without expecting any return, without counting the cost. If it is not yet there, then let’s enkindle it.

The secret is always that vital identification with Christ. Of course, this condition, this requirement is quite tough to meet, but if we would just try and try again as often as necessary, certainly the ideal effect would just come about. On the part of Christ, we cannot doubt that he is all there for us, all there for the taking.

What can always help is that we avoid getting imprisoned in our own world and allow ourselves to simply be at the mercy of the state of our physical, emotional and mental condition. With our spiritual faculties of intelligence and will, plus of course God’s grace that will always be made abundantly available, we can transcend beyond these constraining elements.

So we just have to use everything within our power to attain that ideal state of being always on the go, dynamic, eager to serve and to do things for everyone. We may have our limitations, and we can commit mistakes, yet we cannot deny that everything is already given for us to be how we should be in our earthly life. And that is to be like Christ, whose only desire is to love all of us.

We actually cannot avoid using some forcefulness. Even with our own selves, we have to use it, because if not then we would be totally dominated by our laziness, softness, fears, doubts. Right at the start of the day, when we have to get up, we have to use force, and that little daily task can require heroic efforts, both mental and physical.

It´s true that as we age, our physical strength can wane, but not the power of the mind nor of the will. In these latter two faculties, which are our spiritual powers, there´s no such thing as aging, unless we entirely submit them to the law of our physical life. Especially with the grace of God, they can go on gaining strength, scope and depth.

So in theory, because of our spiritual nature, we can go on living and loving. This is the natural basis for our immortality, that capacity to continue living even after our death. But since we are a unity of body and soul, of something material and spiritual, we always experience a certain tension within ourselves which we try to bear by using some forcefulness.

But when we have true love, we can handle that predicament well. Love has its inherent forcefulness.*

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November 2022
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