Sometime after my divorce many years ago, I remember complaining about not being able to meet good Catholic guys that were available to date. Why was the bar scene always the place people wanted to meet?
I couldn’t figure it out and a friend of mine asked, “Well, what other things do you like to do?”
The funny thing was I really didn’t have an answer for that question. I’d been immersed for years in working overtime to pay the bills and get ahead somehow and I really had kind of lost touch with the part of me that used to enjoy life. And that got me to thinking…
Suppose I met someone I really liked and was able to identify activities I liked so we could do them together, then what? What was I expecting from that new relationship?
I was excited about the prospect of meeting someone new, but at the same time, mildly frightened that I would make the wrong choice again and end up even more hurt than when I started out. So I knew I needed to give this a lot of prayerful consideration. I needed to be able to know what I wanted in a romantic relationship and what my expectations would be if we ever got married.
Also, I needed to be confident of what I had to contribute to these relationships.
In the encyclical Deus Caritas Est, Pope Benedict XVI says:
“[Man] cannot always give, he must also receive. Anyone who wishes to give love must also receive love as a gift… Yet to become such a source, one must constantly drink anew from the original source, which is Jesus Christ, from whose pierced heart flows the love of God… Only in the way of contemplation will he be able to take upon himself the needs of others and make them his own.”
Most of us understand that having a lasting relationship takes work and oftentimes that work lies in sacrificing for the good of the one you love. The pope makes a fabulous point here, in that we must be receivers as well as givers. It’s what brings harmony to a couple’s relationship.
This self-refinement exercise really helped me grow in confidence and self-worth and prepare me for the day I did meet my husband. Reflecting on this in the last few weeks motivated me to make you this little video. I hope you enjoy it and maybe it will motivate you, too, and help you define your answer to the question: What is love?