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Because of You: The Virtue of Love

"If I know what love is, it is because of you."-Herman Hesse Love is the greatest of all the virtues.  And it is the foundation of everything that is good.  Nothing else has been written about more often than love, or studied more closely than love, or longed for more universally than love, or confused more regularly than love.  Love is why human beings were created, and what we should live to be and do.  But what is it?  After all the philosophizing, and theologizing, and soliloquizing, what is love? Stop. There’s a place and a time for defining, and analyzing, and categorizing.  But to really get at the breadth and depth of love, and to really understand how to do it, we need to start with a different question.  Because fundamentally love is not a what, love is a who.  I can ask you to define what love is, and you might be able to quote someone.  And that warms you about as much as a screensaver picturing a fire in a fireplace.  But if I ask you who has loved you, you come alive.  Because love is incarnational, embodied, like no other virtue.  Love wears a face.    Love has hugged you.  Who is love? Love has kissed you.  Who is love? Love has held your hand.  Who is love? Love has laughed with you.  Who is love? Love has cried with you.  Who is love? Love has sacrificed for you.  Who is love? Love has fought for you.  Who is love?  We love because we have been loved;  that’s how we know what love is, and that’s how we know that life is worth living.  Can you even imagine your life without love?    On this Valentine’s Day, I encourage you to picture the faces of love in your life---those who make love real for you.  Fill up with gratitude, and feel good inside.  But don’t stop there.  Because there’s a world of people out there who need to be loved too. Strive to be the face of love for another, and then another, and then another…  And you’ll change the world.

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