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Love and Responsibility Paperback – April 1, 1993
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Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Polish
About the Author
KAROL WOJTYLA was born in Wadowice on May 18th, 1920. In 1946 he became a priest. He was appointed assistant Bishop of Cracovia in 1958 and Archbishop in 1963. On October 16th, 1978, he was elected Pope and adopted the name of John Paul II. He has written many books with world wide acknowledgment.
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Top Customer Reviews
I have been married for almost 10 years now and I still go to it for reference. It isn't a light/easy read, you have to sit down and concentrate (at least that is how it was for me), but it is very helpful in this world where love is so warped and misrepresented. This is definitely one of my favorite books to recommend for marriage related topics!
This work is not about NFP technology but about living a good life as a sexual person. Too often JPII is read as a justification for a particular "natural" sexual praxis. I would challenge readers to consider rather that the ideal sexual life presented here is rather *based on grace* actively opening a way to union--in which each considers the other first. Grace builds upon nature--to heal, perfect, and elevate it. Without grace, this work will read like just Mt. 5--as another pietistic reason to despair of the greatness of our call to love as God loves.
I've read both English translations now many times, and this new translation (by a man formed in the same intellectual tradition as Wojtyla) captures well and precisely his profound and penetrating thought.
The included article (added as an appendix) explaining more clearly the dynamic of self-giving spousal love is a great addition, and clarifies more fully the central concept of the work.
Many people say these words, but what do they mean when there is an authentic and true love?
To love means first and foremost to recognize the other person as a "person" and not solely a beautiful body. A person is unique, possesses an intellect and freedom, has an interior life that revolves around truth and goodness, exercises self-determination and so much more. To love means to recognize the magnificence and dignity of the person and to ensure that one's actions are in conformity with her dignity.
To love means to find the person attractive, in other words, to recognize values in the person, such as: physical beauty, a strong intellect, a religious spirit, a sense of humor, a desire to work hard to accomplish her goals and so forth. One must be careful with attraction because it is easy -- with the rush of emotions and thoughts in the beginning of the relationship -- to idealize and see values in the person she might not truly possess. This can lead to disappointment later on. As Jane Austen observed: "We are all fools in love."
To love is to desire the other person . . . to want to be united both spiritually and physically. The important point is that the full and total person is recognized and not simply the person as an object of pleasure. Sexuality is the union of two persons (man and woman), from which flows all the positive experiences. One must be careful to ensure that sexual union is a truly personal and healthy union and not one of lust and consumption. The latter leads to what Shakespeare wrote about lust: "Beyond reason hunted, once had, beyond reason hated."
To love is to have good will for the person. Good will is to desire what is good for the person and work to bring about those goods. This is a lot of the action of love and how you show someone you truly care about her. The greatest good for a person is eternal life with God. Some of the other goods are: a strong relationship with family, the protection of life, faithfulness, respecting the person's reputation and so forth. When someone seeks what is good for you it makes you feel wonderful.
To love is to be friends. Friendship is being united by a common goal. This common pursuit unites the two people together very closely.
Recognizing the dignity of the person, experiencing attraction and desire, having good will and being friends all reach their fulfillment in betrothed love; when a man and woman commit themselves to one another. Betrothed love is giving oneself completely and totally to the other person and accepting the other person in return -- mind, heart and body.
All of this information and so much more can be learned in this once in a lifetime book by Karol Wojtyla, who later became Pope John Paul II. Karol was a philosophical and theological genius. He was a true lover of humanity. I very highly recommend this book.