More on Love
I heard a homily this week that used the old James Dean film, Rebel without a Cause, which I have never seen, to illustrate that without God in one’s worldview, one’s life has no real meaning. In fact, in a world without God, there would be no purpose for anything at all.
Not too long ago, in the course of a conversation on this subject with a friend, Daniel once said something along the lines of: “I found out that I couldn’t really love Sarah unless I loved God first.” The response he received was, “But let’s just say that somehow you found out tomorrow with 100% certainty that God did not exist. Wouldn’t you still love Sarah?”
Tough question, with a short answer: “No.” But obviously, a short answer wasn’t going to cut it. My wonderful husband (although this was before he was my husband) went on to explain in the best way he could that if there was a way that God could be proved nonexistent beyond any shadow of doubt, loving me would not mean anything. It wouldn’t even be possible, because real love always comes from the God who is Love.
If true love between a husband and wife in this life is necessarily tied into eternal life with our Creator, as St. John Chrysostom suggests in the quote I used last week, then what purpose would love have in a godless world? “For the present life is nothing, and my most ardent dream is to spend it with you in such a way that we may be assured of not being separated in the life reserved for us…”
The question remains: Can you truly love someone if you don’t believe in God? I don’t think you can. Like I said, tough question. And a difficult answer to stomach, even for a believer. But God gives meaning to this life, and this life is all about relationship, with Him and with others in the world around us. I believe that.