Saturday, September 3, 2011
Tu Scis Quia Diligo Te-You Know That I Love You
Feast of St. Pius X, pope - III Class
Full Latin-English propers here.
Both the Gospel and the Saint are just so juicy today that I can't help but post twice. In English, we don't catch the distinction in what Christ and Peter say, but in the Latin and the Greek we do. The English language is deficient in that it uses the same word for both love, which is a grace, and human emotion, which is a natural passion. In Latin, amor refers to the attraction of human emotion and dilectio refers to Divine Love. In Greek, philos is used for amor, human desire, human passion and agape is used for Divine Love, dilectio. The error committed by the English language is using the word "love" to refer to both dilectio/agape and amor/philos when only the former is correctly called love. The latter is only a natural human desire, a human passion.
If you look at the Latin of today's Gospel (linked above) you will see that Our Lord uses two words when asking, "lovest thou me?" The first time he asks of Peter, "diligis me?", "Do you love Me with a Divine Love, the love of agape?" St. Peter responds, "tu scis quia amo te", "You know that I love You with a human emotion, the passion of philos". The same interchange happens again. Christ asks "diligis me?", "Do you love Me with a Divine Love, the love of agape?" and is told "tu scis quia amo te", "You know that I love You with a human emotion, the passion of philos". Then Our Blessed Lord changes the question. The third time He asks, He says, "Amas me?" "Do you love Me with human emotion, the passion of philos?" St. Peter is sad. He sees that he was being offered Divine Love and kept running away into human emotion. Now, he has lost that offer of Divine Love. He could have more. He could have had such a great gift. Now he has less because of his own stubbornness.
There is a lesson in here that we all must learn and that lesson is that when God offers us something, we must take it. We cannot hold out for something better. When God offers us something, then that is the best thing for us. God-who designed and created us mind you-knows us better than we know ourselves and-being infinitely powerful-can make us far happier than we can make ourselves. Therefore, when God offers us something, we must take it. It is the best thing for us. It might not make sense at the time, but later on it will be obvious why it was the best thing for us all along. God knows the future; we don't. God knows what we will need in the future and He prepares us now. So while what God offers us now is not what we want, it is what we need and it will be obvious later why we need it.