Catechism On Line

God is Love

Book, Chapter 21 (Faith First)

In these chapters we discuss the following topics: 
 
 

The New Testament - review

God is LOVE

What is love?

There are three types of love

The New Testament

The New Testament is comprised of 27 books:
 
  • The four accounts of the Gospel:
      • Matthew
      • Luke
      • Mark
      • John

      •  
    • The Acts of the apostles

    •  
    • The Epistles (letters of the apostles)

    •  
      • the 13 letters of Paul
      • the 7 catholic letters:
        • letters of Peter
        • letters of John
        • letter of Jude
        • letter of James
      • The letter to the Hebrews (by an unknown author)
    • The book of Revelation

    God is LOVE

    By now, Jesus' apostles well understood the importance of love and taught that God is love. Often times they reflected on love somewhere in their catholic letters. Ex. 1 Corinthians, 1 John, etc. The virtue of love gives us the power to return to God the love He shares with us. But, what is this love?

    Def:

    LOVE (or charity, agape) - a strong affection and warm attachment, or unselfish, loyal and benevolent concern for others.

    Hence, a true LOVE is devoid of any form of egocentrism and selfishness. According to John Macquarrie essential component of love is "letting-be". A parent for example, loves his/her child by letting the child to attain their potentialities for their independent living rather than keeping them close. By the same token, a friend loves their friend not by possessing them, manipulatiing them, dominating them, and using them for their own satisfaction, but doing everything to help them growing in freedom, empowering them, encouraging them to be the best, most free person and happiest person they can be.

    John Macquarrie, Principles of Christian Theology, London : SCM Press, 1966.

    Love in the above definition is comprised of three different types of love, or perhaps, three different applications of the same affection:

    1) Erotic love - the physical love between husband and his wife. It further contains:

    • Actual affection - of varying intensity which may increase, decrease or be unchanged with age and time.
    • Lust (the physical attraction between man and woman) - is under hormonal control and decreases with age and time.
    • Selfishness
    • Jelousy
    2) Filial love - maternal or paternal love. The highest of human love possible. It is:
    • Actual affection - of varying intensity, and unchanged with age or time.
    • Is is always selfless!
    3) Divine love - God's love for us. It is unconditional, steadfast and very intensive.

    Once after her complicated surgery, a woman was thought to have died as she fell into a deep coma. Doctors were able to save her life however, and after she recovered a few weeks later, she described her experience to her doctors and friends. Such experiences are clinically termed "Near Death Experience". As she described it, one of her experiences during her comatose state was an extremely intensive sensation of love for all beings. Perhaps, for a moment God allowed this patient to experience the same love He Himself feels towards us.
     



    Back to the index page