Ah love is in the air and so many different kinds of love too. Years ago, somewhere in my life, high school perhaps, I learned that the English language is seriously lacking in regards to the word LOVE. Such a complex feeling should have more than one word to describe it. Greek, for example, has at least 4 different words for love. Here is how I understand them.
Agape means unconditional love. As Catholics we often hear this word as God’s love for us. It can also mean true love or the highest form of love. Some people believe that most of us will never truly achieve this love because it really means to love someone more than yourself.
Eros is the love your might feel when you first see someone you think is cute. Perhaps it is love at first sight or attraction. It is an appreciation of the beauty of a person both inside and out.
Philia is the love we feel for friends and neighbors. It is the same love that we extend to many things. It can be the love we feel for our very close friend, the love that allows us to help others and even the love that we feel for animals.
Storge means affection in Greek. This is the love of family. It is a natural love that is steadfast and strong. The love you feel for your mom and dad is a love you are born with.
Each word, each form of love is very unique and each of us hopes to experience all forms in our lifetime. From the day we are born and experience Storge, to kindergarten when we learn Philia and the love for our friends, to 5th grade and our first crush when we might experience Eros, part of the human experience is LOVE. Each week we attend mass and participate in Agape. Perhaps one day you will fall in love and get married. Perhaps one day you will use Philia to care for others through volunteer work or even your job. I hope you all achieve Agape and learn to love at least one person more than yourself whether is thru God, with marriage or when you first meet your children.
Here are some library books that describe love in all these ways.
There are three things that will endure – faith, hope, and love – and the greatest of these is love. –
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