“Nothing is . . . neither fuller nor better in heaven and earth”
Every authentic love story is, in its essence, a journey toward God, and every time we truly love, we unveil the face of God because God is love (1 John 4:16). No wonder Thomas à Kempis affirmed that “nothing is sweeter than love, nothing stronger, nothing higher, nothing wider, nothing more pleasant, nothing fuller nor better in heaven and earth because love is born of God and cannot rest but in God, above all things.”
But if it is so, why in the world do we find ourselves very often dissatisfied with our love life and why do we have so many dysfunctional relationships with our families, neighbors, and others? Why do we seem to love to hate each other and make enemies rather than friends not only with individuals and groups but also with other nations as well? What is missing from our earthly love? What has happened to love?
To these questions and to many more, Dr. Maalouf, whose focus is one of gentle revolution in human development, as leading critics said when describing his prolific works, “Is suggesting here a different way of seeing the reality of love?” Although it is based on psychological, sociological, philosophical, and theological principles, this adopted way conveys the message through a poetic, contemplative, and mystical method in the style of Meister Eckhart and St. John of the Cross. This is not intended to be a comprehensive study on love, but a fresh awakening to the existential, deeper, and richer level of consciousness of the living love, for the love of one another (John 13:34) is not just a commodity for social arrangement, but the evidence of our divine origin and destiny and the critical condition for our very survival.
Thus, a book like this should be read meditatively—the way one listens to a great symphony or perceives a masterpiece in an art museum—and comprehensively for it is not just the total sum of its paragraphs as a symphony and a painting are not the total sum of their different notes and colors. Then—wonder of wonders—one will realize that there is nothing more mysterious, more magical, more life-changing than love. It is indeed the “philosopher’s stone” that converts whatever it touches into a golden reality. Then everything will start to make sense, for nothing—not even all the money in the world—can buy the strength and the happiness of a true loving heart.
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