During the 1960’s the Beatles wrote and sang the song, “All You Need is Love” “All you need is love, love, love, love, love. All you need is love, love, love is all you need.” The word “love” repeats many times throughout the song. One of the most famous Beatles songs of the 1960’s, it remains popular today. Originally available in the 1960’s in vinyl record format, the song is now available in MP3 download, CD and even a ring tone. Technology has changed since the 1960’s yet the song’s popularity with its quest for love has not changed. What makes this song so popular over the generations? The Beatles? Perhaps. The topic? Yes!
Deep within every person is the quest for love. Not as Hollywood often depicts love, but the depths of love in caring for one another. Love that takes time, communication and commitment throughout the various aspects of our lives. Often as a couple approaches marriage they choose the reading on love from Corinthians from the Christian Scriptures not as something accomplished but to live into: “Love is patient, love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things endures all things. Love never ends.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8).
The invitation to love transcends all walks of life, married, single, religious life, etc. When I think of love I remember a young couple I knew several years ago who married eyes wide open to dreams for the future, time together, children, anticipating being together for life. She received a cancer diagnoses soon after they married. Hopes for the future gave way to doctor visits, sleepless nights of nausea and vomiting, hope given and hope dashed. They knew the meaning of love through their unexpected journey. She died a year or so later.
When I think of love I remember a middle-aged couple who looked forward to the next step in their lives being a few years away from retirement. Hopes of retiring together gave way to a year of journeying with cancer and her death one year later. Love never ends. Or when I think of love, I think of a friend who started an orphanage in Africa for children whose mothers died of AIDS and the children themselves most likely infected. Sometimes the children have physical challenges and finding a home is difficult. My friend and their caretakers want them and love them and the donors who support the orphanage love them. When I think of love I think of my own International Religious Congregation where all over the world including the United States, Sisters care for the most vulnerable and fragile of the world with donors supporting our mission. Hollywood type love, no, selfish type love, no, being in touch with the Divine within asking for strength and guidance and wisdom to live out the real meaning of life and love, yes.
From the Gospel of John in the Christian scriptures, we hear: ” Love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. Love one another.” Embracing love, loving one another means going beyond what is comfortable. It may mean keeping vigil day after day, looking to the needs of another, turning tendencies to control into compassion, responding out of an open heart.
“All you need is love, love, love, love, love”–sometimes easier to sing than to live. Our invitation is to open our hearts to the Wisdom of God, guiding us each step of the way as we embrace love throughout the many aspects of our lives.
Blessings and peace,