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Find Fulfillment in Lifelong Love (What is Consecrated Life?)

Love is the subject of just about every song we hear on the radio. It burns up the pages of popular novels. It’s the premise of most movies and television shows.

There’s no doubt that many people are looking for love — when they surf the channels or scan the stations or open a book.

When singers sing about love — and when people call a movie or book a “love story” — they almost always mean romantic love. They’re talking about a couple (usually young) in the first passionate throes of attraction to one another.

And that’s indeed how many beautiful loves begin. It’s a first stage. But attraction and romance are not enough to sustain a couple for life. They don’t, by themselves, add up to a love that satisfies.

In fact, no merely earthly love will ever satisfy us. So many of those who are called to marriage, both men and women, find this out. That’s one reason why our country’s divorce rates are so high. Physical beauty fades with age, and attraction can diminish over time. Romance gives way to routine. And people assume that their love has vanished.

But that’s not the case. What’s happening is that they’re being called to a higher love. God is calling them to give up their whims and desires for the sake of another. God is calling them to let their little love give way to something greater.

Why is this so? Because we are made in the image and likeness of God, and we’re made to love the way God loves. That’s the life of the Blessed Trinity: interpersonal love that is self-giving and holds nothing back.

We all hope to know such love at the end of our earthly lives. But God wants us to begin to experience it now. God even calls some people to dedicate their entire lives, from this moment forward, for the sake of such love. Jesus said: “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” God calls some people to “lay down” their lives in love — right now! — to serve in the Church and the community.

Those people — some are women, some are men — are satisfied in life and fulfilled in love, because they’re beginning to live on earth by the standards of heaven. They’re making a habit of loving the way God loves, in this life, so that they’ll be ready to love that way in the next.

If you’re interested in such a love, consider the vocational paths open to you as a Catholic. Let’s talk.

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