Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Men, Women and the Mystery of Love: Practical Insights from John Paul II’s Love and Responsibility By Edward Sri

We think as a society we cannot define love. But I would say to you Saint John Paul the II did just that with his writings in Love and Responsibility and later in his Theology of the Body. The author, Edward Sri, does a wonderful job of unpacking a complicated topic for us the readers. Real love he explains is not just the "butterflies in your stomach" when you first date the love of your life but what you feel after 60 years of marriage. But this book not only delves into marital love but love in all aspects like friendships and family. “Love is a virtue that involves sacrifice, responsibility and total commitment to the other person. Hollywood love is an emotion” says Edward Sri.
My favorite example that brings it all together is the reference to the movie Titanic. In the movie many people glorify the emotional romance between the two main characters. “Two people whose romance develops over just a few days, which don’t really know each other and have no true commitment to each other.” says Edward Sri.  Is this our ideal kind of love? John Paul the II explains that when we are carried away by our emotions, sentimentality may hinder our ability to know that person as she or he really is. Mr. Sri asks "Is this the kind of person who will make sacrifices for me and put what’s best for me or our family before them?" The Catechism defines love as willing the good of the other.
Original sin is explained as when “Shame” entered the world. “Shame involves fear of another person, the sense that we’re not sure we can trust that person. We fear being used or being hurt, so we are afraid of being vulnerable in letting others see us as we really are.” Matthew Kelly wrote: “We can’t be loved for who we are if we won’t reveal ourselves. Unrevealed we never experience intimacy.” The more the Holy Spirit transforms our selfish and lustful hearts with the total self-giving love of Jesus Christ, the more relationships will recover their original meaning that God designed for us in the Garden of Eden.
I would recommend this book to you and for those we love who are living in difficult relationships. It would be a great gift to our young teens trying to make sense of dating and beginning relationships with the opposite sex. I found myself in many ways within the pages of this book. It is about healing and raising up the value of tr

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