Saturday, 18 September 2010

Quote of the Day: Pope Benedict XVI on Love

Wordle created by Mícheál Carchrie Campbell

I have to thank Mícheál for his regular updates of the Pope's public utterances on this trip. I know he would far rather be down in London today rather in a rather damp Belfast. However, part of that is the words that he spoke today. These ones especially stood out:

"We were made to receive love, and we have. Every day we should thank God for the love we have already known, for the love that has made us who we are, the love that has shown us what is truly important in life. We need to thank the Lord for the love we have received from our families, our friends, our teachers, and all those people in our lives who have helped us to realise how precious we are, in their eyes and in the eyes of God.

"We were also made to give love, to make it the inspiration for all we do and the most enduring thing in our lives. At times this seems so natural, especially when we feel the exhilaration of love, when our hearts brim over with generosity, idealism, the desire to help others, to build a better world. But at other times we realise that it is difficult to love; our hearts can easily be hardened by selfishness, envy and pride."

Speaking about love to an open audience is a wonderful thing. Acknowledging that we were made to receive and give love is truly a Christian attitude. It is something that reaches to the heart of the Christian message. But I'm wondering is there are caveats on just what sort of love that might be.

However, as love has made me who we are, it has made me accept that I am someone who yearns for the intimate love of another man. Yes I am wondrously made, but I'm made in that way, to love whom I love and to love my God as well. There is an exhilaration of being in love and of sharing love, agape, Eros or Platonic love (if we are going to the Greek).

Of course I am merely seeing it through my eyes, from a heart that isn't hardened too much but is open. I hope and pray that the Pope, his church and all the other churches can look at the way we should love. That we are made to give and receive that love and that the decision of which gender earns that most intimate of loves is not a socially engineered decision but part of how we were made.

As you can see from Mícheál's wordle at the top 'love' certainly was at the forefront of today's homily, yet has also been the matter of contention of many of those who today chose to Protest the Pope. It can't be fully right in either direction if that is the case.

Read also speaking also of love, my friend Mícheál has found a rather touching and moving letter from a gay priest which he has reposted on his blog.

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