All you need is love?
The title is the homily of Fr. John A. Perricone that was shared by my sister in New Jersey and I am passing them on to you. This homily was delivered on June 28, 2016 but was sent to me just recently. I wish to share it with our readers because it is beautiful, penetrating and relevant to us considering the situation in our country today.
Perhaps in our reflections on the daily killings of those involved in illegal drugs and the innocents, we will find some moments to ponder on the words of Fr. Perricone and with God's grace find some meaning in all these events swirling in our midst.
This is rather a long homily for this space so this will be in two installments.
“These past fifty years have seen the word “love” cast about carelessly. No surprise that under this strain the word has lost its luster. Repeated blows have so flattened its majesty that it can mean anything, and thus means nothing.
“In the past few weeks, this emasculation has plunged to new depths. After the Orlando terrorist massacre, disparate groups have arisen hysterically chanting “love” as their solution to that barbaric act. Really? Now, I am as desirous of a world brimming with love as the next guy, but this “luv” remedy gives cognitive dissonance a new dimension.
“Imagine groups in 1943 reacting to Auschwitz and Dachau by joining in marches with banners emblazoned,“All You Need Is Love.” Hardly a solution to the Final Solution. More like Alice through the Looking Glass. Such is this latest folly, reminiscent of those drug-addled hippies in 1977 placing daisies in the gun barrels of National Guard soldiers. In the end, this gauzy antinomianism leads only to more death. If this be love, let us have no part of it.
“Such mindless group thinks a witch's brew of Leftist ideology and therapeutic couture profoundly eviscerates love, as well as being profoundly dangerous to the welfare of society. The Roman Catholic Church will have none of it, because she alone shows the world the truth about love, for her Bridegroom is Love Incarnate. Therein lies the real, dual answer: Truth and love.
“All the virtues are regulated, guided, and ordered by truth. So it is that the cardinal virtues take their lead from prudence, an act of the intellect which applies truth to the exercise of all the rest. (Of all the virtues, St. Thomas devotes the most time to prudence, citing no less than eight integral parts.) Without truth, a virtue is like a spinning wheel unhinged from its axis, it wreaks destruction as it takes its pell-mell course.
“ The virtue of love is no exception; truth bridles love's formidable power. The Greeks recognized its fearsome wildness in plays like Euripides' The Bacchae . Their revered Oracle at Delphi not only warned Greeks to Know Thyself , but the often forgotten, yet no less important, mandate Nothing To Excess .
“ Aristotle's in media stat virtu essentially bowed to truth alone to know the path to the good, thus raising virtue to the impressive heights of arête (excellence).
“Love is not some homogenized virtue, one size fitting all. Its legitimate expressions fan out like a rainbow, and that array of lights is dictated by truth. Sometimes love demands severity. Sometimes tenderness. Still, other times it translates as indifference.
“ T.S. Eliot wrote in Ash Wednesday , “ Lord/teach us to love/and not to love.” That enigmatic verse attests to the strict dependence of virtue upon truth. How can man know when to love and not to love without the unerring standard of truth?
“Ecclesiastes dramatically confirms the multilayered inflections of love in its third chapter: “A time to kill, and a time to heal…a time to love, and a time to hate . . . a time for war and a time for peace.” These sacred words are spoken by God the Holy Spirit, and while bracing to pious ears, they must be maddening to the dispositions of sentimentalized Catholics who have surrendered to all the pieties of the Secular Left.
“War, for instance, is an act of love toward the injured parties of the aggressor to enable them to live in peace. Chesterton declared, “The soldier goes to war not because he hates the enemy in front him, but because he loves those he has left behind him.”
Let's continue on September 17.*
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