Love: The Perfect Bond of Unity
Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.
The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me. Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, although the world has not known You, yet I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me; and I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.
The LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. The man said,
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body. FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND SHALL BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.
"The relationship that exists within the Godhead is the basis for unity in every human relationship, be it marriage, family, or church."
- Patrick Henry Reardon
"Now love can only be given or received if there is more than one person involved. This raises the question: 'If God is a single individual, as we understand individuals, then could he give and experience love?' Obviously, the only way to do this would be by creating inferior beings with whom to share that love. But if God has always been love then naturally this raises a problem. As C. S. Lewis expressed it, 'If God was a single person, then before the world was made, he was not love.'
"Whether we fully accept this logic or not, it does provide a solution to the eternal existence of love. Suppose this constant self-giving and receiving, which we call 'love', has eternally existed between the three Persons of the divine Trinity? The situation then arises whereby we may be caught up in that love, the love that has always been there, because God has always been there."
- Dick Tripp, "Exploring Christianity"
"You may ask what sense we can make of it. Three Persons, One God. Perhaps one answer might come if we think for a moment about the different ways in which things may be present one to another. Two objects - say, two tables, standing next each other - are present to each other. But that is nothing by comparison with the way living creatures can be present. They commune with one another. But even here there are different levels. My talking to a stranger shares nothing of the closeness between two friends, and this in turn nothing of the intimate union of two lovers.
"The thing to notice is that as the degree of self-awareness increases, so does the intimacy made possible. The measure of closeness goes hand-in-hand with the degree of selfhood. Two tables have no self-awareness; and those engaged in only a passing exchange do not reveal themselves as fully as do two lovers. Let us project this to infinity. When union reaches total unity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit are revealed as (we might possibly say) absolute polarities of perfect love.
"The doctrine of the Trinity, so far from belittling the unity of God, reveals the richness of his Being. Jesus, the Son made flesh, reveals God's life - a life of such glory and mutual love that nothing in our experience can compare, the beauty of the one God, to whom be glory for ever."
- Columba Ryan O.P., "The Beauty of the Glory of the One God"
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
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