Humanities
Long Beach City College Love as The Fundamental and Innate Vocation Essay

Long Beach City College

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I’m trying to learn for my Philosophy class and I’m stuck. Can you help?

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Saint (Pope) John Paul II has said that love is the “fundamental and innate vocation” of every person. What is it about humans that makes this so?


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Session Twenty-six: Love: The “animating principle of the entire Christian life” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=itvnQ2QB4yc Warren Zevon (1947-2003) Searching for a Heart They tell me love requires a little standing in line And I've been waiting for you, lover, for a long, long time I've been pacing the floor I've been watching the door Meanwhile I'll keep searching for a heart Searching high and low for you Trying to track you down Certain individuals Have finally come around “And I’m searching for a heart. Searching everyone. They say love conquers all, you can’t start it like a car, you can’t stop it with a gun.” Warren Zevon “Searching for a Heart” “Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is strong as death, passion fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, a raging flame. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it.” Song of Solomon 8:6-7 “Love is not one virtue among others for Christians; it is the animating principle for the entire Christian life.” Wadell, p. 211 Hmm. So it must be a big deal, then. so… What are we talking about when we talk about love? When you hear the word “love,” what words, notions, or images come to your mind? “Love is the word used to label the sexual excitement of the young, the habituation of the middle-aged, and the mutual dependence of the elderly.” John Ciardi Whether or not he’s right, Ciardi’s words call our attention to the fact that we use the word “love” in a variety of ways. “God is love, and we should be too.” Wadell, p. 211 What in the world could this possibly mean? Well, it’s in the Bible, for whatever that’s worth. “Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves knows God and is born of God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love.” 1 John 4:7-8 God is love ‘Ο Θεος αγάπη έστιν Hο théos agápē éstin This grammatical form of this sentence is called the predicate nominative. It means, essentially, that the word “is” (estin ) functions as an “equals” (=) sign. Which is to say that we know genuine love only as we know God – at least according to the author of 1 John. But this only partly answers the question of why our various images for and ways of using “love” are so different. Writing exercise: Take one minute and make a list of everyone you know to whom you say, have said, or might say “I love you.” Do you mean the same thing every time you say “I love you”? Do you mean the same thing every time you say “I love you”? Then why do we use the same word – “love” – in these very different cases? I bet you can guess what’s coming next… Four different words from the Greek New Testament are typically rendered as “love”: •Eros ( Έρος): erotic love; passion •Philía (Φιλία): the love shared by friends •Storgē (Στόργη): the love shared by family Their nuances aside, each of these words is legitimately a way of saying “love.” So we might begin by asking what they have in common. They all have to do with the regard of one person for another. Further, these loves seldom occur in isolation from each other. Love, in case you hadn’t noticed, is messy. Although all of these different senses of “love” have theological uses, one in particular is theologically significant. Agápē : This self-giving, often sacrificial love is the perfect (complete and unconditional) love of God for all of Creation. It is best seen in the life and teaching of Jesus of Nazareth. Philippians 2:5-8: Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus: who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death— even death on a cross. The Latin translation of agápē is caritas. Aquinas called caritas the “form” of the virtues as well as “friendship with God.” So, what’s love good for? “Love… is the fundamental and innate vocation of every human being.” Saint Pope John Paul II Familaris Consortio Quoted in Wadell, p. 213 Assuming we’re all human beings, what does it mean to claim that love is our “fundamental and innate vocation”? Love as the human vocation: •Is made possible by the love of God for all Creation. •As creatures made imago Dei, love is what women and men are made to do. •Love is in this sense essential to the human telos ; to be human is to love. “If you do not love, you will not be human... If you love effectively, you will be killed.” Herbert McCabe Love as the human vocation: •Is made possible by the love of God for all Creation. •As creatures made imago dei, love is what women and men are made to do. •Love is in this sense essential to the human telos ; to be human is to love. •Just so, we truly flourish only as we love. The ekklesίa—the church—is called by its common life to make God’s love present to the world. Love is a verb. Love is a verb. In its fullness, love entails concrete action aimed at promoting the well-being—the flourishing—of the beloved. “One of the scribes came near and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, he asked him, ‘Which commandment is the first of all?’ Jesus answered, ‘The first is, “Hear, O Israel: the LORD our God, the LORD is one; you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.” The second is this, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” There is no other commandment greater than these.’” Mark 12:2831 We are to love God and neighbor, and also implicitly called to love ourselves. How are we to manage these three commandments to love? Where do we begin? Aquinas argued these commandments are to be ordered hierarchically. He called this the “order in charity.” First, love God: •The “first and greatest” commandment. •Love is to be directed toward the beloved’s goodness or potential goodness. God is goodness itself, and therefore deserving of the highest love. •Love is concrete action on behalf of the beloved. But God needs nothing from us; God is a “perfect aseity” of love. Aseity: Derived from the Latin a se – “of or from the self.” To say that God is a “perfect aseity” is to say that God is perfectly compete in and of godself – that God needs exactly nothing from anyone. First, love God: •The “first and greatest” commandment. •Love is to be directed toward the beloved’s goodness or potential goodness. God is goodness itself, and therefore deserving of the highest love. •Love is concrete action on behalf of the beloved. But God needs nothing from us; he is a “perfect aseity” of love. •Therefore, love of God is expressed through love of God’s creatures. Second, love yourself: •To love oneself is to desire one’s own flourishing. •Our flourishing entails living in loving relationships toward God and others. •Aquinas noted that proper love of self is “the paradigm of our love for others…” (p. 229). Finally, love others: •“Love your neighbor as yourself.” •“Love your enemies.” •Love begins with those in closest proximity, the “near ones” •Love starts at home and expands outwardly •Our “neighbor” is anyone we encounter who has need that we might address. •All of God’s Creation calls for our love. “What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like.” Saint Augustine ...
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Final Answer

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LOVE AS THE FUNDAMENTAL AND INNATE VOCATION

Love as the Fundamental and Innate Vocation

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LOVE AS THE FUNDAMENTAL AND INNATE VOCATION

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Love as the Fundamental and Innate Vocation
Love is an issue that is vastly addressed in all religious books and has equally attracted
the attention of many scholars and philosophers. It is an enigmatic word as it is used by different
people to express different feelings. For example, for young people seeking to have a life
companion, love may be associated with sexual excitement or passion, while for family members
or friends, love is associated with mutual dependence and compulsion to help one another
(“Session Twenty-six,” n.d.). There is also the agape love, which ...

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