In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.
The meaning of love is the meaning of life, because
love, in spite of what we very often think or imagine, is not a simple
feeling. When we speak of God, and we say that God is love, we do not
mean that He is infinite feeling. We mean something deeper than this:
that God is a plenitude of life and of being. And this applies also to
our human love. Someone who is possessed by love is a man who has a
plenitude of life in himself, in whom the sense of life, the power of
life is so full, so great, that life is sure of itself. And this
generates joy, courage, enthusiasm, and it goes so deep that it is
beyond death itself. The Holy Scripture says that love is stronger than
death. Indeed it is stronger than death because it has placed itself by
its fullness, its power, its intensity in the realm of the resurrection,
in the realm of eternal life. And this is why love is capable of final
sacrifice, not only of giving and of receiving but of laying down one's
life, because this life, if it is given, is also possessed in its
fullness. It is plenitude of life which finds expression in final
sacrifice. You may remember the words of Christ: 'No one is taking My
life from Me, I give it freely Myself.' In that respect love, the
fullness of life which it expresses, is invulnerable. People may take
our lives, people may put us to any test, and yet one remains
invulnerable because no one in reality is taking; the person who loves
I would like to give an example of this. During the
Russian Revolution a mother with two children was hiding in a small town.
One evening a woman came, as young as she was, in her late twenties, and
told her that she had been discovered, betrayed, and that she was to be
arrested in the night in order to be shot. The mother looked at the
children, and her new friend said, 'Don't worry, you go, and you hide.'
And the mother said, 'How could I go with these two children. I would be
found within a few hours.'- 'No', said her unknown friend, 'I will stay
behind, call myself with your name and be shot perhaps, but you will
escape.' And so she did.
This was an act of love, which proceeded from such
fullness of life, from such certainty that life was not ending, and that
it was only in the fulfilment that she would find in her death that she
could do this.
No one has greater love than he who lays down his
life for his friends. Who does it himself, freely, and who in doing so,
attains to the fulfillment of life because life is worth only what one
lives for, and life attains this fulfillment when all is done that can
humanely be done beyond fear, in joy, in certainty.
This is the meaning of love to me. Such fullness of
life, that will allow me to accept, to become totally vulnerable, never
recoil, never resist, give myself to the last, without discrimination to
anyone and for anyone with a certainty that love shall never be defeated,
that love is stronger than death; because to love means that we already
have renounced a limited self and grown into communion, that is
community of life with God, who is love itself. Amen.