The Meaning of Love

Kafka said, “The meaning of life is that it has an end.”

The meaning of love is that it does not.

There is a piece in each of us that is God’s piece.  This is the thing we call our “soul.”

Love is the expression of the soul.  The soul expands with every act of love, every kind word, every time we see beyond ourselves and reach out to those in needs.  It contracts every time we see and don’t say, every time we turn our backs and walk away.

“God is no White Knight who charges into the world to pluck us like distressed damsels from the jaws of dragons or disease,” Nancy Mairs said.  “God chooses to become present to and through us.  It is up to us to rescue one another.”

The prayers we send to God for answers come back as questions.  God is in the distance from what is to what ought to be.  It is His voice that tells us right from wrong, offers the judgment that “someone should do something about that,” and prompts our response.  What is disclosed to consciousness is something that is.  What is revealed to the conscience is something that should be.

The call we make to a friend in need, the smile we give a stranger, our every act of kindness are all part of God’s design.  We act for God each time we respond to a need we see or sense.  Every act of love ripples out in an endless cycle of giving and receiving.

This is how the world is changed.  It’s love that acts.

Love sustains all, transcends all, makes all things possible, and all conditions of life tolerable.  Love unites us because love alone connects us by what is deepest in ourselves.  So long as we are loved, we are necessary and immortal.

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3 Responses to The Meaning of Love

  1. Don Sodo says:

    Very true, Bill. Thanks

  2. Tim Brown says:

    On October 20, 1985 I married the most tolerant and long suffering woman in the world. On October 31, 1986 my 21 year old younger brother John lost his battle with recurring Hodgkins Disease. On December 19,1994 my older brother, Dan lost his battle with nongonoidal testicular cancer, joining our brother Joey who died at age 11 after falling from a pedestrian overpass on a busy multilane highly trafficked commuter route in Philadelphia on December 20, 1960.

    Needless to say this is a challenging time of year for me, but thanks to the amazing woman I married and the children she brought forth and raised to be extratordinarily brilliant and compassionate souls, I not only survive the yearly challenge of the seasonal darkness, but I manage to miraculously enthrall and celebrate in the midst of the memories of loss.

    Because she had a friend put in a word on my behalf with his employer, I got a job in 1985 in the mailroom of the National Association for Home Care and had the high privilege of working with Val and Bill Halamandaris for more than a decade in which they introduced me to concepts of love that were not to be found in romance novels or in movies or television. They introduced me to the likes of Dr. Jerry Jampolski, Mother Teresa, Bob Macauley, Claude Pepper, Leo Buscalia, Senator Frank Moss, Mary Jo Copland and Viktor Frankl. They personally demonstrated the effect of daily sacrifice and commitment to higher ideals, public service and the true power of love.

    It would be fair to say that other than my parents and my wife and children, Val and Bill taught me more about the true meaning and power of love than any one else. They taught me many many useful ways to express love and especially the joy of giving until it hurts and then giving some more. Most memorable of the lessons they shared are these two: that “We are, each of us angels with only one wing; and we can only fly by embracing one another” and “There is a land of the living and a land of the dead and the bridge is love, the only survival, the only meaning.”

    Thank you Bill. Your parents love expressed through you and Val may ultimately effect thousands or even millions, but it certainly has made my life, and the lives of those I cherish, blessed and charged with the responsibility of passing it on.

    Love now and always to you, Angie and Will.

    • Bill Halamandaris says:

      Thanks, Tim. If we did anything, it was to reinforce your own caring heart. You teach the truth by living it.

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