Ode to Love
By Fr. Joe Eruppakkatt SSP on 20-06-2011
One of the best expositions on the theme of love is the
13th chapter of St Paul's first letter to Corinthians in the Bible.
It is considered also as one of the most awesome pieces of prose ever written.
Paul here speaks of the absolute necessity of love, the various characteristics
of love and the permanence and endurance of love. No one, however highly placed
or gifted, can be as great as a person who possesses true and genuine love in
his heart. At the same time no amount of good works and sacrifices would be of
any good if they are not done with love. In this charter of love, there is also
hidden a charter for life. The person with genuine love is the one who is
patient, kind, humble, accommodative, harmonious, understanding, trusting, hopeful
and strong. What makes a person truly great is not external display of success,
power and wealth, but the possession of true love. We are sometimes unable to
measure up to this standard of love because we are wounded by hatred,
indifference, misunderstanding, jealousy and envy. Only genuine love can heal
our wounds and recreate our lives. Love begets love! Love, and be loved! It is
worth taking time to read and take to hear the Ode to Love by St Paul:
“Though I command languages both human and angelic — if I speak
without love, I am no more than a gong booming or a cymbal clashing.
And though I have the power of prophecy, to penetrate all mysteries
and knowledge, and though I have all the faith necessary to move mountains —
if I am without love, I am nothing.
Though I should give away to the poor all that I possess, and even
give up my body to be burned — if I am without love, it will do me no good
Love is always patient and
kind; love is never jealous; love is not boastful or conceited,
it is never rude and never seeks its own advantage, it does not take
offence or store up grievances.
Love does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but finds its joy in the truth.
It is always ready to make allowances, to trust, to hope and to
endure whatever comes.
Love never comes to an end. But if there are prophecies, they will
be done away with; if tongues, they will fall silent; and if knowledge, it will
be done away with.
About The Author
Fr. Joe Eruppakkatt SSP is a Catholic priest of the Society of St Paul. He has been engaged in media activities for several years as General Editor of ST PAULS Mumbai. He believes in God's gift of beauty and goodness in every human being, in nature and in every religious tradition, and shares his views and opinions with others.