THE SCHOOL OF LOVE
[continued from yesterday]
...Secondly, by a loving nature I understand a nature of deep emotions. Not merely does it see and appreciate; it is affected by its appreciations, it suffers one way or another.
There are some natures that fall short of this; they can appreciate the beautiful, they can analyse it, they can describe it, in some sense they can be interested in it, but to be moved by it in any undue degree would seem to them a weakness.
Such natures may attain to much more, especially by way of intellect; but if emotion does not follow, their love is a crippled thing.
Love feels joy, love feels sorrow. When it joys, its joy may swell till it becomes an agony, and it is compelled to cry out: "No more, no more!"
When it sorrows, its sorrow may be worse than death, and yet it will cherish it with a sense of nature satisfied.
When it has neither joy nor sorrow, then, whatever else there may be, life is like an empty desert.
Thirdly, by a loving nature I understand a nature that can act. True love demands a certain courage, a certain daring, to act not merely by the dictate of reason, but also by the prompting of love.
True, it is liable to make mistakes; it may be convicted of much foolishness, of many excesses of generosity.
Love does not always caIculate, does not always consider pros and cons, is not always prudent as some philosophers understand that virtue, does not always look for success, but, once aroused, shuts its eyes, "gives and does not count the cost, fights and does not heed the wounds, toils and does not seek for rest, labours and looks for no reward," lays down its life and does not think about it.
Such a nature is dangerous? Yes; but it is dangerous to go into battle; it is dangerous to go out upon the mission field; it is dangerous to tend the diseased; it is of the essence of an greatness to face what is dangerous.
"Greater love than this no man hath, that he lay down his life for his beloved," whoever or whatever that beloved may be.
Such is a loving nature, as it comes from the hand of God....
From The School of Love and Other Essays
by The Most Reverend Alban Goodier, S.J.
Burns, Oates, & Washburn, Ltd. 1918