Sunday, May 09, 2010

The School of Love & Other Essays, May 9


[continued from yesterday]

...Love, then, almost laughs at definition. It is too vivid, too burning a thing to be defined; if it could be adequately defined - no doubt it can - it would still have no meaning for us, it would almost appear contemptible, unless we ourselves had known it by our own ex­perience.

A man understands what love is, and has love in him, in so far as he has himself actually loved, and does love, and no further.

Philosophy will not teach him the real thing; poetry will not help him much; when he has felt it, and has been stirred by it, and has longed, at least, and striven, to be something and to do something because of it, then, and to that extent, he will know it.

He will know, too, that he has not reached its end; that there are other depths of love to which he has not yet attained. He may reach to them some day; meanwhile it is something to have discovered what he knows.

Hence, for the understanding of love, it is more important to describe than to define it; to see it in its effects rather than on paper; to watch it in its growth and making, that so, if we really wish for it ourselves, we may follow the path that leads towards it.

And the key to it is given to us in the very simple words of one who certainly knew.

"Love," says a certain great master of the science, "is seen in deeds rather than in words." That is the key to the whole matter: the deeds that love will make us do...

[Continued tomorrow]
From The School of Love and Other Essays
by The Most Reverend Alban Goodier, S.J.
Burns, Oates, & Washburn, Ltd. 1918

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