Sunday, February 13, 2011

On this Valentines Day weekend - Let’s exam what the word “LOVE” really means

(John 15:13)No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends.

What does that word, “love” really mean. The modern world has been corrupted by the devil who twists that word around to mean “sex,” or a feeling, or an emotion, but this is not love. Love is not an emotion. Love is not a feeling. Love is not sex. Love is a choice. We choose to love. Notice how the devil has even perverted that wonderful gift of God. God has given us free will. It is one of the things that makes us in the image and likeness of God. Animals do not have free will. They work on instinct. If you put a plate of food in front of a hungry dog, will the dog think, “should I fast today to show my Master how much I love him?” No, the dog will eat the food because the dog does not have free will. The dog is not made in the image and likeness of God. God gave us free will so that we could love. Love is a choice. The devil has even perverted in our evil society, the use of that word, “choice.” Choice is a good thing because it allows us to love, it makes us in the image and likeness of God. But we can choose death over life. We can choose sin over love. To have a choice means to have the ability to love. It also means to have the ability to murder innocent children by abortion. If you have been scarred by the tragedy of abortion, know that God loves you and invites you to healing in the Sacrament of Reconciliation and the Archdiocesan program called “Project Rachel.” But even outside any moral or ethical consideration, from the moment of conception, a genetically unique human being is created that will never be seen again.

When our immortal soul, given to us by God, is fused with our body, we become a human person who is very precious to God. Will we choose to love God or will we choose to love ourselves? When you cast your vote on election day, you have the freedom of choice. You can choose someone who will respect human life from its very beginning, or you can choose someone who sanctions the destruction of the yet to be born and the newly born. Love is a choice. You have a choice to make. “Before man are life and death, good and evil, whichever HE chooses shall be given him.” “The test of love” Fulton Sheen says, “is found not in emotion but self sacrifice.” All the Sacraments call us to share in the life, death, and resurrection of Christ. The sacramental words spoken by a man and a woman on their wedding day, in the power of the Holy Spirit, create an irrevocable bond between man and woman that cannot be broken except by death. This is why marriage is a holy sacrament because it shares God’s divine love and God’s divine life with us mere humans. But marriage like all the sacraments, involves the cross; it involves dieing to oneself, for that is the definition of love. From the Cross, comes the Resurrection, from dying to self comes new life, from the total self giving of the spouses in mutual dying to self comes children. Marriage between a man and a woman serves a unique place in society by allowing for the procreation and education of children within the context of the family. While recognizing the heartbreak that some husbands and wives are unable to bear children or must do so as single parents, the ideal of the family must still be promoted for the common good of the society. Governments did not create marriage, God created marriage. Therefore, governments do not have the right to change its meaning.

We can choose lust or we can choose love. You will be making a choice on election day. Will you choose to strengthen the true definition of love and marriage or will you choose lust and selfishness? Jesus said , “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” It sounds simple enough, if love is simply an emotion that makes feel good. Because then whatever makes me feel good is love. But that is not what Jesus came to reveal to us. Love is a choice. Jesus chose to die on the cross to save us from our evil choices. So do we love God with our whole heart? Do we love with our whole body? Every part of our body? Our body is a temple of the Holy Spirit? Have you kicked God out of your temple by the bodily choices you have made? Do we love God with our whole soul? Does every choice of the will bring us closer to that image and likeness of God in which we were created? Does our free will choose grave evil and eternal damnation or do we choose righteous and life? Do we love God with our whole mind? Does our mind feed on the things of God or do we fill it with suggestive or pornographic images that degrade the image and likeness that every human being bears? Do we pick and choose those doctrines of Jesus’ Catholic Church that we like, and consider the rest as unreasonable? When I was younger, there was a very popular movie called, “Love Story” and the famous line from the movie was “Love means never having to say you are sorry.” We are to love our neighbor as ourselves. Would you like it if somebody you loved NEVER said they were sorry for hurting you? Do you think maybe that is the reason why people stay away from the Sacrament of Confession because they really love God?

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