WHO IS GOD? Part 5 (The Value of Love)
We have seen that our universe is afflicted with sin, evil, and death. We struggle against them, mostly in vain. Our stories end with some version of “and they lived happily ever after,” but we know this does not really happen. The happiest families deal with strife and illness. The brilliant are misunderstood and attacked by the envious. Even the movie stars and singers that we idolize, despite their millions, end up in rehab and divorce court. We try to postpone death, though the prospect of endless life, when you think about it, is actually disturbing.
What can be done? There is light in the darkness of this world. Acts of courage, justice, wisdom, and self-control were prized by the ancient Greeks and Romans and (to some extent) by us. Like Camelot in the musical, acts of courage, justice, wisdom, and self-control inspire us with the possibility of virtue. Even more inspiring are acts of love. Not the romantic passion of Romeo and Juliet that (so often) ends in tears, but the persistent selfless love of Vincent de Paul, discussed earlier, or of Father Damien, who volunteered to serve the exiled lepers of Molokai and ended up dying of the disease. Throughout the world, people are working selflessly for the good of others, caring for children, visiting the sick, helping the poor and disabled, and feeding the hungry. These acts, humble and unsung, give dignity to humanity and have real value in an afflicted world.
So it is reasonable to conclude, before we ever talk about religion, that we live in a universe where material things follow physical laws and there is a real moral dimension, the crowning glory of which is selfless love. What progress we can make from here will be the subject of this continuing blog.