30 April 2014

From self-seeking love to a love willing to sacrifice

This evening I was talking with a former student about his relationship with a former girlfriend when this passage of Benedict XVI's Deus caritas est came to mind:
In this context it is highly instructive to note that in the course of the book [The Song of Songs] two different Hebrew words are used to indicate “love”. First there is the word dodim, a plural form suggesting a love that is still insecure, indeterminate and searching. This comes to be replaced by the word ahabĂ , which the Greek version of the Old Testament translates with the similar-sounding agape, which, as we have seen, becomes the typical expression for the biblical notion of love. By contrast with an indeterminate, “searching” love, this word expresses the experience of a love which involves a real discovery of the other, moving beyond the selfish character that prevailed earlier. Love now becomes concern and care for the other. No longer is it self-seeking, a sinking in the intoxication of happiness; instead it seeks the good of the beloved: it becomes renunciation and it is ready, and even willing, for sacrifice (6).
This passage often form the basis of homilies I preached at weddings because it talks about what authentic love really is.

Just a little something to ponder today.

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