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There is a great difference between the one who gets closer to someone because truly in love with the other and someone who does so just because he needs a favor, to solve a problem, to get some help, or to attend a practice. The former loves the other for what he or she is, regardless of how he/she poses, of her/his defects, of the bad or good things he or she does. He looks for that person because he or she has become important, and when you are truly in love with the other you are able to overcome everything, to forgive everything, to understand everything. The other is what is really important, his/her way of being, his/her individuality, everything of that person. And the consequences in practice are countless.

There is difference between the wife who gives herself to her husband because she loves him, and the wife who instead gives herself to him because she fears the consequences of a refusal or because she needs to get favors, permits, freedom. Yes, it is a very different thing the attitude of the wife who gives herself to her husband for reasons that are outside of love: if she does so, she deceives her husband, because he believes to get closer to her, but in reality her heart is far away.

Both in Jesus and in Paul the meeting takes place with the essential core of the person, which is ineffable and unspeakable: love is full. It is necessary that the other has become dear, regardless of what we get from him/her. The most important thing is the other’s existence.

You understand if there is this kind of love because when you turn to God, and you think about the beloved one, you say: “Lord, thank you for him/her”. And that’s it. How different is the love of a boyfriend who goes to his girlfriend because he truly loves her for what she is, compared to the one who goes to his girlfriend because he has to, because now they are together, and he can no longer back down. When this happens, the boy tries to compensate his frustration taking advantage of her possessions. And that’s a shame.

Even the union of two spouses who do not love each other but who give themselves to each other becomes a sort of prostitution. Also in the world of work it is easy to recognize the ones whose actions are led by love and the ones are led by personal interest. How different, in fact, is the attitude of an employee who loves those who turn to him, from the one who does not work for love. The former has the customer close to his heart before he even sees him, and when the customer arrives he receives him with serenity, serves him with respect, greets him with love. The latter treats him as an object more or less useful and thrown him away with manners and ways that reveal his selfish and venal soul.

Translation provided by Maria Rosaria Mastropaolo

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