Reflection: Love As The Basis For All Church Teaching
Updated: Jan 22
May I suggest the following lens to look at the teachings of the Church especially to those who struggle with them sometimes.
All of the Church’s teachings – from the main dogmatic theological points regarding revelation to the hot-button topics – are really all about one core thing: love.
Love for God who is Love itself.
Love for each other and love for ourselves because of the Image we are created in.
Let’s take marriage for example. Marriage has been given by God, and because of that central fact marriage is good. Also, since we have been separated from God due to sin and have a fractured sense of Him, marriage raised to the dignity of a sacrament has the ultimate purpose of us getting to know God better who is the divine Author of this wonderful institution. This is accomplished precisely through the essential aims of marriage spelled out by the Church’s teaching: one man and one woman inseparably united together in “one flesh” to participate in co-creation with God in the transmission and rearing of new life and to enjoy each other in the goodness of conjugal union and lifelong companionship as icons of the indissoluble union of love between Christ and His Church. By spouses coming to know and love each other along with whatever children that may result humanity in this form of communion comes to know and love God more and more deeply. Thus, sacramental marriage is one of the best tools and life-contexts for getting to know the Lord better and experience the type of love He has for us. For God loves us with an enduring love, and marriage is certainly an enduring love.
Again, all the Church’s teachings are all about love because the Church worships a God who is Love itself in His very nature as an eternal loving communion of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. She worships a God that expressed the greatest love by dying for us and shows us that love is the greatest thing because Love rose from the grave. Love was not defeated by death, the greatest hatred, or by any other form hatred takes, but Love rose and showed itself greater than death and hatred.
And it is the Church that is the Body and Bride of Love Himself, Jesus Christ, and they are united as one with one heart and one voice crying out to world to live the first and second greatest commandments: Love God with everything and love our neighbor as ourselves.
So how can anything the Church teaches not be ultimately about love?