What is love? That is an enduring question. Moreover, we hear of the need to “love” all the time—from our media, from our priests, from our Holy Father. But what is love? Our answer of what love is has deeply dire consequences. Sadly, most people who promote love promote the Satanic counterfeit of love.
Love is defined by the Catechism as to “will the good of another” (n. 1766). This understanding of love is complemented by the definition of the theological virtue of love (or “charity”), “Charity is the theological virtue by which we love God above all things for his own sake, and our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God” (n. 1822). Love, as dogmatically defined by the Church, which we as Catholics are obliged to consent to as the full and true meaning and expression of love, is not understood as “affirmation” of one’s sin and sinful nature. It is not defined as the acceptance or inclusion of others.
According to infallible teaching, love is to love God and to will others to love God. This, then, requires us to know something about God (who is Truth, Wisdom, and Love). God is the Author of the Moral Law which we are to conform ourselves to—with the aid of the sacraments and the Church’s teachings. God is also the Supreme Good, as the Catechism makes clear, for we are to “love God above all things.” To love things short of God, when they become the precious object of our affections, is to fall into sin or—more appropriately—idolatry. Confusion subsequently takes root and reigns supreme.
That God is the Highest Good and the satisfaction of our yearning heart is reiterated by Christ when He summarizes the whole of the Law as love of God (and neighbor, though God comes first). It is also revealed by Christ in more hyperbolic language when He says that to be His disciple one must abandon his parents and siblings. That is, if your family is indulgent in its sin, you must remove yourself from that cesspool dragging you down to hell and embrace your heavenly family on pilgrimage to unite with God.
Part of the problem with Christian love today is the implicit universalism that runs rampant through the Church and the Christian psyche. The outright, and implicit, acceptance of universalism to hopeful aspiration of universalism harms the Christian understanding of love because there is no purpose for us to will the good of others if there is nothing they can do to harm their soul’s eternal destination. For to love, as the Catechism says, is “to will the good of another.”
To love your neighbor is to will him or her to God. This, of course, is effective only if there is an eternal hell and damnation that awaits those perfidious and sinful souls who have chosen other goods instead of the Supreme Good. If the person is just going to enjoy God anyway, there is no imperative “to will the good of another.” We cannot, by any serious understanding of the term, love.
The Catechism dogmatically affirms the existence of hell (cf. n. 1033-1037). While one can play word games like any good sophist that the Church has never officially condemned anyone to hell (because it is not the Church’s mission to do that), the weight of Scripture and Tradition not only affirms a hell but also a very crowded hell. St. Paul and St. John both give a long list of sins that Christians can commit which will cause them to be denied entry into heaven. Christ also says, with own word of mouth, that many will come to Him on Judgment Day and He will turn them away. The long history of Church commentaries and reflections all assert the reality of hell and the damnation that awaits the wicked.
Given the reality of sin and hell (something that liberals all deny or try to obfuscate), the imperative to love is all the more urgent. Wolves in Catholic garb offer a Satanic counterfeit version of love that guides sinners to hell while hugging them and kissing them all along the way, making them feel “loved” on their path to eternal woe and misery. According to the Catechism, that is not true love.
Those who stand against the counterfeit love that dominates the modern mind and contemporary theology are the ones who genuinely love others. We are the ones who do not wish to see broken, crying, and hurt souls screaming out for guidance be led, by callous cruelty, to the jaws of damnation. But that is precisely what the wolves are doing—they cruelly lead souls in need of healing to damnation in the name of “love.”
The traditional Catholic understanding of Satan is that he is the great corrupter. Satan is not God, so he cannot create or heal or save. Instead, he can only deform.
Satan parodies God and corrupts what God has created. Satan therefore corrupts our understanding of love. Those who claim that love is anything but willing the good of others are nothing less than Satan’s witting and unwitting storm troopers. Those who claim that love is about directing the sinner to God for the sinner’s sake (just as Christ redirected sinners to God with the stipulation “sin no more”) are the true exponents of love.
In a world saturated with the language of love, holy truth must sift through the weed in this dire time. Failure would lead to the triumph of cruelty and the damnation of many. Most people who talk about love do not know what love is. If the Church is to be a field hospital, it must also return to the reality of what true love is, the true medicine of the soul, for no healing is complete without the soul’s sanctification and union with God through Christ. Tend the sinners, yes, but will them out of sin and direct them to God for the true healing and love they need.
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