Here is a section which is found at the end of that part, and my comments.The Pope continues....
Earlier we spoke of the process of purification and maturation by which eros comes fully into its own, becomes love in the full meaning of the word. It is characteristic of mature love that it calls into play all man's potentialities; it engages the whole man, so to speak. Contact with the visible manifestations of God's love can awaken within us a feeling of joy born of the experience of being loved. But this encounter also engages our will and our intellect. Acknowledgment of the living God is one path towards love, and the “yes” of our will to his will unites our intellect, will and sentiments in the all- embracing act of love. But this process is always open-ended; love is never “finished” and complete; throughout life, it changes and matures, and thus remains faithful to itself. Idem velle atque idem nolle —to want the same thing, and to reject the same thing—was recognized by antiquity as the authentic content of love: the one becomes similar to the other, and this leads to a community of will and thought. The love-story between God and man consists in the very fact that this communion of will increases in a communion of thought and sentiment, and thus our will and God's will increasingly coincide: God's will is no longer for me an alien will, something imposed on me from without by the commandments, but it is now my own will, based on the realization that God is in fact more deeply present to me than I am to myself. Then self- abandonment to God increases and God becomes our joy (cf. Ps 73 :23-28).
If I have no contact whatsoever with God in my life, then I cannot see in the other anything more than the other, and I am incapable of seeing in him the image of God. But if in my life I fail completely to heed others, solely out of a desire to be “devout” and to perform my “religious duties”, then my relationship with God will also grow arid. It becomes merely “proper”, but loveless. Only my readiness to encounter my neighbour and to show him love makes me sensitive to God as well. Only if I serve my neighbour can my eyes be opened to what God does for me and how much he loves me. The saints—consider the example of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta—constantly renewed their capacity for love of neighbour from their encounter with the Eucharistic Lord, and conversely this encounter acquired its real- ism and depth in their service to others. Love of God and love of neighbour are thus inseparable, they form a single commandment. But both live from the love of God who has loved us first. No longer is it a question, then, of a “commandment” imposed from without and calling for the impossible, but rather of a freely-bestowed experience of love from within, a love which by its very nature must then be shared with others. Love grows through love. Love is “divine” because it comes from God and unites us to God; through this unifying process it makes us a “we” which transcends our divisions and makes us one, until in the end God is “all in all” (1 Cor 15:28).
There are so many points here, I do not know where to begin. Firstly, our potentialities come out, as it were, in love. If and when we know we are loved, we have a great opening of the gifts which God has given us for ourselves, our close loved ones, and the entire community. The transcending and ascending love are the daily contacts in prayer and in the community. Secondly, this section points out the lukewarmness of just doing our duties in the Church. Yuck. Who wants that sort of love anyway? If we Live in Love, are immersed in Love, Who is God, this energy to love reaches out again and again.
The Pope writes above, a freely-bestowed experience of love from within, a love which by its very nature must then be shared with others.
What does this mean? For the younger couples, it means having and rearing children; for the men, it means leadership in families and in the Church community; for women, it means care and concern for the vulnerable, as well as the special charisms; for sisters and nuns, it means their call and the rule of their orders which feed their charisms; for priests it means being totally in love with God and His People and becoming perfect. No more, no less.
This is not the description of a false utopianism. It means hard work, not only from the heart, but from the will united with the heart. Sometimes, as I know personally, love is unrequited, not returned, for many reasons known only to the heart. That love is unrequited does not stop the creativity, the persistence, and the joy of love. As the Pope states above, Love grows through love. Love is “divine” because it comes from God and unites us to God; through this unifying process it makes us a “we” which transcends our divisions and makes us one, until in the end God is “all in all” (1 Cor 15:28).
The we is you and God, me and God, me and you and God. This is staggering. So, if there is a lack of love, either one has let it die within, it has died from lack of food--which are prayer and the sacraments; or it has never been there in the first place. We cannot love without being loved and accepting that love.
Yesterday, a friend of mine apologized for a lack of patience in a meeting at her church. She was humble enough to do so. The response was "an apology is not enough." Wow, where is the love there, and this happened among the so-called "church ladies", who do all the flowers and stuff. No love there, I am afraid....No love, no acceptance. No love, no community. The jobs one does becomes mere dross and not gaining any merit. None.
No love, no merit.
One cannot do what is not in one's heart. We must follow our hearts, and if our hearts are one with God, and if the love is divine, as the Pope writes above, creation itself is transformed.
Can we not have a renewed vision of the Church from this wonderful encyclical, a vision which would destroy the godless, dangerous isms of the world?