The shiniest car isn’t much good if it’s only a hologram: it won’t touch the road. Such a hologram is in some sense a car, but a car is not a hologram. A hologram won’t get any traction, and nothing exists that will let it drive off towards the sunset. Don’t settle for a hologram when it comes to love. Here’s what JP II said about it in his Theology of the Body:
“Attraction is of the essence of love and in some sense is indeed love, although love is not merely attraction.” —John Paul II
It can be so easy to mistake attraction for love, to settle for emotional highs and to forget what the words “I love you” mean. There’s a “you” in the phrase, in case you missed it. So what’s the big deal?
Attraction has to do with recognition of “value.” The challenge for true love is to recognize the specific value not just as something in another person or as some quality that the other person possesses, but rather as the other person himself. No one wants another person to value him only for what he or she can give; everyone wants to to be loved in his or her own right. Don’t talk about attraction if you’re not going to give your attraction some traction. It’s not about what qualities the person has that matters most of all; it’s about who the person is. Don’t settle for a hologram when you can have the real thing.
My Prayer with God
Lord, thank you for placing me in a world of people and relationships. Help me to see through the holograms of artificial relationships that the world imposes upon me, and to bask in the beauty of love.
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This series is based on a systematical reflection of John Paul II’s great masterpiece on Theology of the Body, “Love & Responsibility.” Join us, one sub-heading at a time!