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The Nature of Love


One of the biggest problems that is facing some poor developing nations is over population. It is brought about by poverty stemming from social inequality, injustice, the capture and concentration of the national resources and wealth in the hands and pockets of a few super rich elite. Rich countries on the other hand have shared wealth and education and have greatly reduced poverty and at the same time their birth rate has dropped as a result of the widespread use of birth control methods, contraception and abortion.

This has led to a change in attitude towards children. Many people choose not to have any at all. They can be prevented and if conceived killed in the womb. For them sex is for fun, not a life giving process. It has become a selfish act of pleasure not an act of love of another. In this selfish world children are not wanted, marriage is taboo, commitment is unthinkable, sex is pleasure.

Many children are unwanted from the womb. They grow up unloved, abandoned by father or mother, and sometimes both. These young people desire the acceptance and unconditional love of others and if their demands are not met by those who help and care for them they mistake moral codes with rejection are confused and lash out in anger.

The Orphanages and city streets worldwide are filled with such children. Only the lucky few gets saved, protected and loved by the people who have that extraordinary love that accepts the abandoned and the abused, the rejected and the unwanted. These dedicated people have a generosity of spirit and gives to the youth a chance in life, family, security, love and friendship denied to them as young children. This they do for no benefit or reward for themselves. It is a rare and unusual kind of self-sacrificing love. This is the greatest love of all where one human gives his or her life for the well being of another not his or her own. For this ideal we should all strive.

Modern materialistic society rejects the role of married love and has a twisted view of what love is. True married love is the attractive force of nature that brings male and female together, bonds them in friendship and commitment to each other and expresses the fullness of their lives in a living replica of themselves-a child.

It is a kind of love that is built on life long commitment, dedication, unselfish self-giving and sacrifice for the well being and care of another. This child is a live human made up of their DNA, genes, looks and values upon whom they lavish their affection, care and protection and hope filled expectations. Sadly this kind of mature love is becoming rare also. Instead, sex has for many (but not all) replaced this kind of family love. Deep friendship can have a genuine sexual expression but there needs to be true unselfish commitment.

Pornography, sex-tourism the proliferation of casual sex for sale has diminished and debased the human person. Love has been reduced to selfish pleasure seeking. When the pleasure runs out, the partner is thrown out. In a relationship based on pleasure seeking sex, neither partner can know if they are being “loved” for themselves or if they are just being used for the sexual gratification and pleasure of the partner. When love is reduced to sexual pleasure then evil forms of pleasure seeking is sought by perverted people. Even fathers sexually abuse their own children.

The youth today are victims of the sex obsessed society where broken homes abound, abandoned children are damaged and young adults grow up without the security and nurturing of a strong family life. Even the most intelligent can be contaminated and their goodness, love and decency is so easily twisted and distorted by the selfish society that leads them to the false, destructive belief that sex is love. They can be incapable of friendship after that. This leads to great unhappiness and lonely empty lives and tragically leads to suicide for some.

We need to take our stand for the restoration of sanity, family life and the kind of love that puts the needs others before our own personal desires.

By Father Shay Cullen

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