AUTHENTICITY OF LOVE
The New Testament distinguishes different kinds of love: friendship, commitment, blind passion, etc., but above all it distinguishes between the authentic and the inauthentic. ‘My dear children, let us love not only with words and with our lips, but in truth and in deed’ (1 Jn. 3:18) and it establishes a practical equivalency between the love of God and the love of brother, or better put, it is understood as a demonstration of that, ‘If you say, ‘I love God’, while you hate your brother or sister, you are a liar’ (1Jn. 4:20). This same Letter shows that this love for a brother should be visible, ‘if anyone enjoys the riches of this world, but closes his heart when he sees his brother or sister in need, how will the love of God remain in him?’ (1Jn. 3:17).
There is one kind of love in which, in a kind of way, man is the ‘victim’, he is pulled down by passion. There is a love that is ‘governed’, to which the individual lover gives form. This is the most authentic and it is not ‘cold’ but neither is it irrational or uncontrollable. Claret confesses now and again that the love for God, his Father, burns him inside but it is a life giving fire: that makes him work without ceasing so that the Father be loved, known and served. It is a love that burns the heart and brings us to organize our life.
To the imaginary missionary, Teofilo, Claret speaks of his own experience. The life of Claret has been working relentlessly to ensure that people get to know the Father and live according to his plan and will. But this enormous task has been seen by some as an attack on their own interests, opposed to those of the Kingdom of God. From them came persecution and the subsequent suffering: ‘doing and suffering’. When Claret gave missions throughout Catalonia it was considered politically dangerous and at times he had to hide or flee. In Cuba the matter went further: they tried to take his life. But he reacted by saying that he would have given it gladly because the cause consumed him.