Aloha Friday Message – May 29, 2009

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I have been thinking about this message from last September all week. I first remembered it Sunday morning. Crucita and I decided to go to the 7:00 Mass – except it was actually the 7:30 Mass! That meant we had some extra time to meditate. I was thinking about LOVE. There are so many people to love! I love my wife and kids, my parents, my siblings, my friends, my goddaughters – all three of them – and the list just goes on and on. I started thinking about how much richer my life is because God has given me so many people to love – and that includes each of you reading this now. Then I began to wonder what it must be like to love even more people. Let’s say I decided to list the top 100 people I love. Can you imagine what it would feel like to list the top one billion people you love? How about the top one TRILLION?! Or again how about loving a million-trillion? And what if you loved each one of that million-trillion PERFECTLY? That is what God does, and way beyond that – so far beyond that we can’t even understand it. It is the same love he has given to us to share with each other. Sharing it imperfectly – as we all do – does not diminish the power of its origin or effect. God is love and we who know love know God for we who know God know love. It is a perfectly paired combination of giving and receiving love. So look at this again with renewed interest. It refers to an essay on Greek words for love: Ancient Greek used the words philia, eros, agape, storge and xenia to refer to different aspects of love. Here is a follow up to that essay:

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I love you. I love peanut butter. I love Mozart. I love the mountains, I love the rolling hills, I love the flowers, I love the daffodils, I love the fireside when all the lights are low, Boom-dee-adada! Boom-dee-adada! Boom-dee-adada! I love camping, I love violin music. I love jazz. I love the Beatles. I love Django Reinhardt. I love Stephane Grapelli. I love my kids. I love Crucita – a lot!! I love cream filberts. I love mango salsa. I love Hawaii. I love Chimayo chili. I love the Bible. I love Jesus. I love Yahweh. I love The Spirit. I love loving things, and persons, and just about any noun or verb you can think of. I love you more than I did when I started writing this message.

Anything wrong with that paragraph?

Ahhhhh, what is love?

Some of you may remember an AFC card that talked about different kinds of love; if you don’t remember it, tell me and I’ll find it for you. But here’s the thing: In English we have one ambiguous word for love. In Greek – and many other languages – there are several. But what’s the big deal? Love is love, right? Well, yes, but no.

It is those shades of love that give us the willies sometimes. We understand puppy love, motherly and fatherly love, sisterly and brotherly love. Absolutely stupendous love, Godly love (well, almost), and even (sometimes) irrational love. But, Beloved, do we understand LOVE?

“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding going or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: Faith, Hope And Love. But the greatest of these is Love.

Folks, you don’t need me to tell you that Paul is talking about agape-love in this passage in 1 Corinthians 13. So what does that portent for peanut butter and daffodils and salsa, and kinfolks, and whatever else we love.

It means that even if the people we love are pagans, we love them. It means even if we don’t understand why we suffer or even why the people we love suffer, we love God. It means that no matter how mush we love or how many people or places or things we love, love is the quintessential element or our persona individually and collectively!!

Why?

Ahhh, beloved. It is so simple. We are created in the image of God.

And
God
Is
Love
Eternal

Be agile in your love >>> A.G.I.L.E.

That is why I love you. That is why I can love peanut butter and cream filberts and jazz and my wife and kids and my coworkers and my godchildren and my compadres and daffodils and playing my guitar and sunsets and moon-rises and mango salsa and cooking and … well, go ahead and start your own list here. _________ ___________

Do you understand that while you read this, I love you but GOD LOVES you infinitely more???

Wow.

You know what? I love loving, don’t you?

Stop and say a prayer for all the pagans who believe love is the Earth or the Universe talking to itself. If you love God, stand up and turn around to find someone or something else God loves too. Then let the hugs begin.

Have a great weekend. Now you know what I mean when I say, “I love you!!”

Whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however, if ever, in LOVE forever — at your service!!

chick
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

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About Chick Todd

American Roman Catholic reared as a "Baptiterian" in Denver Colorado.

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