I believe there are certain truths that exist regardless of our acceptance of them. In a world that can rationalize just about anything, it is my assertion that there are certain truths that exist in the universe that cannot be thwarted by any philosophical discussion or intellectual argumentation.
I call these truths, Intrinsic Truths. They are the truths that do not require ones belief in them to remain true. They just are “truth”. One such example is that as human beings, we all share in the great need to be loved and to love something outside of ourselves. It is most easily seen on the faces of children. This is because they have not yet learned the social mores of how to mask their emotions. I see in the hunger behind their eyes. They are crying out “Is there anybody who loves me? Will you love me even if I am bad, not perfect, make mistakes, fall short of your expectations? It is also profoundly witnessed when we see children in Romanian orphanages who were never held that have severe emotional, physical and psychological disorders from not having been held or touched which is a conduit of love.
For years I have been witness to a world that ex pouts popularity, financial success and being attractive, as the major indicators of my overall success in life. Actually, being “successful” is clearly modern society’s number one aspiration for life. So as I have stumbled through this success driven world, why are so many people I meet financially stable, attractive and popular but still desperate for real intimacy in their lives? I see so many people that are overwhelmed with feelings of isolation, emptiness, depression? It seems no matter where I go I encounter persons who lack the ability to be a true friend. Instead people begin in excitement of a new friendship but once the friendship requires a sacrifice or a suffering, their true colors are shown and they abandon you for other worldly pursuits or friendships that are not so “hard”. It seems we are all aching inside from broken relationships and are still not sure of our purpose in life, regardless of the successes in life that we achieve.
In our over achieving world the pervasive feeling is of fear, loneliness, brokenness, and despair. Why? Because we are called to love and be loved and in our abandonment of God, we have failed to understand what love looks like, smells like, tastes like. We have accepted a counterfeit, a fake love that seeks it’s own sake, that is judgmental, that is not patient, that can be mean, that is pleasure driven and does not stay the course, but moves on if it does not get it’s own way or God forbid would require a sacrifice.
The intrinsic truth is that we all share in one common purpose and desire: to be loved and love without limitations. This is no easy feat, for love goes against our fleshly nature which can cry out for what it wants when it wants it. Yet, I have seen and experienced a level of love that goes outside of what is in our nature. Why would a stranger run into burning towers to save other strangers, I can understand job commitment but that heroism is beyond our capabilities, it requires a supernatural kind of love.
Love requires sacrifice, it has no desire to manipulate us and love gives itself away not just once but everyday. I have heard the expression that God is love. But if one grew up without love( by this I mean the kind of love that is unconditional and not dependent on what we can do, or what we have accomplished) then how can we even believe God exists when love has not existed in our own lives?
We know we are called to love and be loved because it is written there on our hearts. St. Augustine said “Our hearts are restless until we rest in thee”. What was he talking about? He was talking about these truths, that are truth without having to be taught them, they merely exist and they cry out to us. We will feel the effects of it and it will pull on us until we make a choice, to accept and embrace it or to go on, chasing the counterfeit. We all need to redefine our understanding of love and friendship. We are hungry for a love that satisfies and that kind of love is explained in Pope Benedicts pastoral letter “God is Love”. In a world that will fail us time and time again, let us read our Holy father’s words to inspire us to embrace and live out the kind of love we are all called to and capable of.