Love makes us do crazy things: makes fools of us in its vulnerability, makes agents of us in its power, makes people of us in both its complexities and simplicities. (After all, is there anything simultaneously more complex and more simple than being human?) So what the heck does love have to do with common sense? Ask anyone struggling with heartbreak or deep in passionate connection, and they’d probably tell you that there is no rhyme or reason to love. It is not common sense.
But love is common sense, as Christian author Bob Goff writes, because “love does.” Goff’s book, “Love Does: Discover an Incredible Life in an Ordinary World,” talks about his own experience of leaning into love, which isn’t common sense until one does it. Love requires a leap into the unknown and into passion, but love is what drives us to move through our lives. It is a commitment, an awareness, a rawness, and an openness that leads us to deeper engagement with the lives we live.
“[Love] pursues blindly, unflinchingly, and without end. When you go after something you love, you’ll do anything it takes to get it, even if it costs everything,” Goff writes. There’s a lot of wisdom to what he says: though loving is hard, once the loving is happening, nothing else matters. Jesus calls us out of our comfort zones (where love is scary) and into our growing zones (where love does). When we lean into a radical experience of loving, our world blossoms. Love informs the people, experiences, and memories we cherish: love lets us be passionate, vulnerable, selfless, and uncomfortable. Love helps us to grow.
Goff writes, “Living a life fully engaged and full of whimsy and the kinds of things that love does is something that most people plan to do, but along the way just kind of forget. Their dreams become some of those ‘we’ll go there next time’ deferrals. The sad thing is, for many, there is no ‘next time,’ because passing on the chance to cross over is an overall attitude toward life — not a single decision.”
Love is common sense because it allows us to live. Jesus wants us to love and live with abandon, extending a hand to sisters, brothers, friends, neighbors, enemies — everyone we encounter. Love is the mechanism for the framework of life; simply put, without love, we cannot live full human lives.
There is a prayer entitled “Falling in Love,” attributed to Fr. Pedro Arrupe, SJ. His words speak more eloquently to the common sense of love than anything else I’ve ever come across:
“Nothing is more practical than finding God, than falling in Love, in a quite absolute, final way. What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning, what you do with your evenings, how you spend your weekends, what you read, who you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude. Fall in Love, stay in Love, and it will decide everything.” (Finding God in All Things: A Marquette Prayer Book)
—Claire Kosewic, Staff Bulletin Writer
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