“Love is my weight,” declared St. Augustine, referring to the love of God and of one’s neighbour. “As much weight as I love”, he wanted to say. Selfish love is light as the wind. It does not weigh, it is worth absolutely nothing.

Claret thought the same when he said that “all our riches consist in love”. He called true love “the gold among metals”, that love that is available, that gives itself without pretence, free and unpaid.

The fact is that love is counterfeited like certain brand-name products. The name love is given to mere sexual attraction or even to physical relations with a person without having any moral relationship with them. The simple carnal act, performed without any love, is called “making love”, perhaps between strangers.

The love that exists between husband and wife, between parents and children, between bosom friends, or that love professed for all human beings, especially the weakest and poorest, is of a different order.

I am increasingly convinced that we are worth what our love is worth. And that if we clean our car, choose our clothes and do gymnastics, we should also take time to take care of our own heart. This is where we find the feelings that make us useful or useless: aggressiveness, irritation, indifference, vile desires… or else kindness, gratitude, the kind word, the opportune compliment, the stimulus, the affectionate gesture.

Culture, career, success and prestige can be precious metals for us. But we are rich and happy in the measure in which the “weight” of our heart increases, the “gold” of our life.


Abílio Pina Ribeiro, cmf

(PHOTO: Milo Weiler)


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