Friday, December 4, 2015

"You make me feel like I am whole again"

I think we make a big mistake by nearly always assuming that love songs are only about the love between a man and a woman, or any two human beings. I believe that many contemporary songs can be listened to with a different focus. Quite a few "love" songs were written with something more transcendent in mind. If not intentionally, then many love songs certainly have enough multivalence to resist being reduced. Anyone who thinks that the human longing for transcendence has been utterly eradicated simply doesn't pay enough attention to what's going on.

In his first encyclical, Deus caritas est, Pope Benedict XVI noted:
If I have no contact whatsoever with God in my life, then I cannot see in the other anything more than the other, and I am incapable of seeing in him the image of God. But if in my life I fail completely to heed others, solely out of a desire to be “devout” and to perform my “religious duties”, then my relationship with God will also grow arid. It becomes merely “proper”, but loveless. Only my readiness to encounter my neighbor and to show him love makes me sensitive to God as well. Only if I serve my neighbor can my eyes be opened to what God does for me and how much he loves me. The saints—consider the example of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta—constantly renewed their capacity for love of neighbor from their encounter with the Eucharistic Lord, and conversely this encounter acquired its real- ism and depth in their service to others. Love of God and love of neighbor are thus inseparable, they form a single commandment. But both live from the love of God who has loved us first. No longer is it a question, then, of a “commandment” imposed from without and calling for the impossible, but rather of a freely-bestowed experience of love from within, a love which by its very nature must then be shared with others. Love grows through love (par 18)
Stated more succinctly: "In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as expiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also must love one another" (1 John 4:10-11).

"Lovesong" by The Cure as covered by Nataly Dawn strikes me as the perfect tradito for the First Friday of Advent.

A petition for Morning Prayer for the First Friday of Advent:

Teach us, Lord, to love each other
- as Christ loved us for God's glory.

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