AS faith is the virtue of belief in God and as hope is the virtue of confidence in God, love is the virtue of affection for God. Yes, they are called and known as the three “Theological Virtues” whereas their origin is God, their medium is God and their object is God. There is something else that makes the acquisition and retention of these virtues, distinct and extraordinary. This: It is only God who implants and nurtures them in the heart and mind of every man who receives and observes them—nothing less but something definitely more in the sphere of the supernatural and/ or in the realm of the eternal. This is why the virtues of faith in, hope on and love of God bring about personal security and emotional strength, inward certitude and spiritual power to those who have them and live by them.
Theological love is the virtue through which people love God above everybody and everything else. To love God for His own self and to love others for the sake of God—this is the genuine theological virtue of love. Observing all the universal Ten (10) Commandments given by God Himself to humanity as a whole—without exception—equals the real and concrete expression of the love of God. After all, the first (3) Commandments are about God Himself. And all the other seven (7) Commandments are about loving others or neighbors. Let it be clearly said and duly noted that all men, women and children—specially those still in their mothers’ wombs—are the centerpieces of creation, the images of their Creator and wherefore the objects of his particular concern and the repositories of His special predilection.
In this theological nature and dimension, love is infinitely much more than human affection for anybody, human attractions towards someone, human care for these and /or those individuals. It can be thus said that human love remains in the here and now, while theological love begins with the here and now reaches the hereafter and beyond. One thing is certain though: Theological love is downright hypocrisy in the absence of human love. Reason: How could someone claim he loves God while hating his neighbor!? Loving the unlovable, the hateful, the despicable and others so called the “scum” of earth—this is the ultimate criterion of love as a theological virtue.
But human love as well as theological love are flagrantly negated and violated by self-love—the standard cause of practically all offenses against humanity as well as against nature. It is self-love that eventually destroys families, ruins communities, disunites society as well as wastes nature and destroys the environment. Reason: Self-love is the underlying cause of the vices of the covetousness for the flesh, the avarice for wealth, the greed for power. Altruistic love is what enhances the person of the lover, what heals domestic wounds and social pains—what consoles the hungry and gives hope to the hopeless. Without His love for humanity, it is vanity and futility to discern to explain, to understand, the life and suffering, the crucifixion and death of Christ!
22 April 2011