Gospel of the day:Matthew 20:17-28
As I was going through thr notes in my phone today, I found a long, mulitparagraph assignment from last year’s theology class.
I know there has been a common theme of love and what love is on my blog throughout this Lenten season, but here are a few lessons from Dr. Peter Krefft, a philisophy professor and Catholic apologeticist. He talks about the 6 most common misuderstanding of what agape truly means and today I’m going to break those down.
First, we must identify what agape means: Agape is self-sacrificing love. The type of love Christ has for you as shown on the cross.
- The first misunderstanding of agape is that it is not merely a feeling, but more of an act of will. Dr. Leeds describes this best as, “Luv” comes from spring breezes; real love (agape) comes from the center of the soul”. Meaning that agape is much deeper than anything of this earth and comes strictly from God the Father. Another way that Kreeft describes this is how, “We fall in love but we do not fall in agape. We rise in agape.” Meaning that by having agape towed another person is an not an ordinary action, an action of supernatural love.
- The second misunderstanding is how agape is not toward an abstract idea, but to a direct and concrete individual. This is explained in John 10:3 that Jesus called each sheep by name. To God we were not just a bunch of sinners, but we were individual people who He would die for for our own salvation. In other words, Christ died for YOU, not just humanity as a whole.
- The third misunderstanding for agape is how it is commonly confused with kindness. To be kind to one another is completely different than to necessarily will their good (which we should do for everyone we meet). And because God wills our good, He gives us suffering for our own benefit, even if we might not understand at the time. To love someone so immensely goes way further than to just be kind. So, although we love, that does not necessarily mean we use our kindest voice, words, and actions. It just means we want the best for them.
- The fourth most common misunderstanding is that “God is love” and “love is God”. This is misunderstood because they mean two completely different things. Our human mind cannot comprehend how one single force can truly be the definition of love. But also, to say “love is God” is a misuse of words because God is so much more than just love.
- The fifth misunderstanding is the idea of being in love with love. Love is a feeling and you cannot be in love with a feeling. A feeling is a passive emotion, but to love is passion. It is much deeper than a feeling. You can only be in love with a person because people are made in God’s image and our ultimate goal is to love and be devoted to God. Therefore, when we love God’s creation, we grow closer to Him.
- The sixth and final misunderstanding is that “God is love” is not a dogmatic theology nor related to the Trinity. This is an obscured statement because for love to be true, it requires a lover, a beloved, and a relationship. If God were only one person, he could not fulfill this statement. When we begin to fall in love, all we need to do is look at the cross to realize God’s ultimate act of love towards us. Through this, we can strive to better ourselves in this beautiful gift that He is & has given to us.
Sorry if this is too much babbling, confusing, or throwing a year of theology into your face, but this is important to understand. I pray that every single one of you can better comprehend the love God has for you. God bless.
To learn more about Dr. Peter Kreeft and agape,click here