With criminality reigning all over the land, with killing people becoming but a matter of course, with Martial Law a reality in the Country, with the on-going threats of nothing less than nuclear war repeatedly made, when anger and hatred are emerging as a combined normal, when the rich are feeding on the poor and the poor have nothing to feed on, it is good to talk about LOVE.
If there is one reality that is truly in the sphere of reason and ethics, in the realm of faith and morals, with relevance not only to the here and now but also the hereafter and beyond – this is love specially so when understood in the context of the Holy Scriptures and when treated by the Social Doctrine of the Church stating: Love, often restricted to relationships of physical closeness or limited to the merely subjective aspects of action on behalf of others, must be considered in its authentic value as the highest and universal criterion of the totality of social ethics. It is from the wellspring of love that the values of truth, freedom, and justice are born and grow. Love presupposes and transcends justice.
Love is the most noble and precious human virtue – more than the virtues of faith and hope. Love is then the summit of all virtues that has intimate significance and continuous relevance to social relationships. Love is even much more than justice and peace whereas its operative presence brings about more than what justice demands, more than what peace means. Love equals fraternity, solidarity, subsidiarity in society.
Love is over and above mere human attraction, personal affectation, bilateral intimacy. It reaches out to others – making someone in love to act with compassion towards others, to live in harmony with others, to be one with them in poverty or sufficiency, in pain or pleasure, in sadness or happiness. Genuine love equals the generous compliance with what is right, proper and equitable according to eminently high ethical standards.
Love tells the truth, promotes freedom and elevates justice to neighbourly understanding and eventual forgiveness. No, love neither cancels the demands of justice nor lessens the latter’s nature and connotation. Rather, love, while assuming the principles of the justice system, nevertheless also attenuates or lessens its rigid imperatives. This is precisely why someone said with wisdom and candor - something like the following: “If people strictly observe the principle of “An eye for an eye!’ and ‘A tooth for a tooth!’, then in due time many – if not everybody – would be eyeless and toothless. This is gruesome but true.
As lovers are winners, so it is that haters are losers. The former become higher in status and bigger in stature. The latter however emerge not only despicable but also reprehensible. So it is that those who love but themselves are the liabilities of society, the shame of humanity. And so it is that those immersed in but self-love emerge as the examples of incarnate vainglory readily despising, hating, killing others.