From the first moment of existence, the human being depends on love for survival. In fact, a baby comes into being because of the love that exists between its mother and father. As the baby grows within the womb, so does love. The discomfort of pregnancy and the pain of childbirth are quickly forgotten the moment mom and baby finally see each other. They then fall in love all over again. The joy between them is infectious. Dad, aunts, uncles, grandparents, siblings and cousins all come to partake in the delight that radiates over the birth of a new human being.


   The more people love and are loved by a newborn, the more secure the baby becomes. The child develops a sense of belonging from the relationships he/she is able to form. Without a loving family, the child will feel lost. If separated from family, the person will yearn to return to the security of the loving environment. We instinctively know that we need love to exist.


   Love conquers all, even death. The enemies of Christ wrongly thought that through the Crucifixion, Jesus would cease to exist. But the opposite is true. Because of love, the memory of his life and resurrection, his presence, his existence continues to grow.


   I am who I am; I exist because of loving relationships that define me. I am my mother’s daughter, my husband’s wife, and my children’s mother, all because of the love that exists between us. I am a writer because of the passion I have for the craft. Without love, I would cease to exist as a wife, daughter, mother or writer. I might look for something else to do. But if I do not find someone or something else to love, I would eventually fade away from existence.


   Without love, life has no meaning or purpose. A favorite passage about love was written by St. Paul (1Corinthians 13:1-13). He states that without love, the voice of an angel sounds like a clashing cymbal. Great prophets, scholars, or holy ones are nothing unless they are informed by love. If not given lovingly, their gifts go unnoticed as if they do not exist. Others might perform marvelous works to gain fame and fortune. But without love, they gain nothing. Paul concludes that the theological virtues of faith, hope, and love shape our core existence. But of the three, the greatest is love.


   God put us on the planet to love. Our Lord has commanded us to love Him above all, and to love the neighbor as we love the self. God himself is Love. He is the great I AM, defined by the eternal love he gives throughout the ages. We are created in the image and likeness of God, who is Love. We therefore are created to be the reflection of the love that God is.


   Remember that love is not inactive. Love is an active existence given freely. Providence defines who or what we are destined to love. We are free to love whoever or whatever crosses our path. We can choose to not love, and the moment or person will be forgotten and cease to exist. Or we can choose to love, create loving relationships, and live fully the life God has intended for us to live.

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