There is a big difference between ‘being in love’ and ‘loving’. One is a wonderful experience of being carried away by feelings and desire, while the other is about making a true gift of yourself regardless of the result.

We live in a world heavily influenced by the thinking of Sigmund Freud, who encouraged us to live for the moment and find our ultimate fulfilment in pleasure. In this sort of thinking, the commitment and sacrifice required for ‘loving’ is not particularly attractive. This has a subtle yet constant influence over all relationships. Even if we are not consciously aware of it, our culture has taught us that life has to be constantly stimulating, otherwise we are wasting our time on earth. We have seen the influence that this has had on Marriages over the last few decades. This culture of self-fulfilment has made it virtually impossible to love selflessly and remain committed to someone when there is no longer any instant gratification.

If this preference for ‘being in love’ influences our human relationships is such a damaging way, what is it doing to our relationship with God? Is the great ‘divorce from God’ that we see around the western world flowing from the same source? What happens to prayer when I no longer ‘feel’ the consolation of God’s love. And if I allow myself to be influenced by this thinking, can I be assured that my own faith will not fail some time in the future?

Once again, Jesus simply calls us back to meditate on the cross, for it is there that we shall see what true love is and have the strength to follow his call every day.