"Love means never having to say you're sorry"
This is the catch phrase from a popular movie "Love Story" I saw in the 1970s. It was a very entertaining and heart-warming movie which by its very title appealed especially to young people in love or were looking for the love of their lives.
I do not remember the context of that catch phrase anymore. But even then I did not agree with that statement at all.
From childhood I was taught that if you love someone, you have to exert effort to show that love in as many ways possible, at all times. But I was also taught that sometimes one can do something that displeases the beloved, unintentionally and sometimes even intentionally. But it is not the end of the story because there is the possibility of one realizing his mistake, and repenting of the offending deed, and saying "I'm sorry."
Even young children know the concept of a wrong done to another and the need to say sorry for it. Today, I saw a letter of my 11-year old granddaughter to her younger sister that reads as follows:
I was going to give all my toys to you. But now since you have lost all of my trust by taking my stuff without permission, Lynne and Leenna [youngest sisters] will now have EVERYTHING! :-(
The only way to get it back is to give all my stuff back and say sorry (say sorry on a paper)
[ on this space provided Lani later wrote Sorry in big letters.]
P.S. Maybe I'll give all my toys to you if you really mean you're sorry." :-I
At a young age children are already aware of the concept of offense, true repentance and forgiveness.
The history of humanity is, as a matter of fact, a story of a lover loving a beloved, of the beloved sinning against the Lover -- God on one hand, and our first parents on the other.
This relationship pervades the history of the Chosen People, who in the desert became unfaithful and broke their covenant with God, and when made to realize their unfaithfulness, they offered animal sacrifices for atonement.
However, it is mind-boggling to know that in time the Person who was sinned against was the one who later had to atone for the offense of the sinner.
Jesus died for our sins. On the cross He bore our sins and "became sin" for man.
"For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." 2 Cor 5:21
God, Who is Love (Deus caritas est) was crucified for our sins, past, present and future.
Love means never having to say you're sorry? God was not sorry when He gave us His love. He offers His love freely and all the time. It is also called mercy. I think this is the only context when "Love means never having to say you're sorry" is true.
But for us: Love means never having to say you're sorry? If we love God, should we not be sorry if and when we offend Him?
Also, if we offend our fellow human beings who are also loved by God to the same extent, should we not say we're sorry to them as well?
This Holy Week is a time to think of the One Who loves us so much that He was willing to suffer and die for us who have offended Him.
A famous theologian convert to Catholicism (Dr. Scott Hahn) puts God's love and mercy in these words: "Jesus paid a debt He did not owe, because man owed a debt he could not pay."
Again, it is always good to reflect on this: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that those who believe in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16
If we love Him back should we not say: "I'm sorry" . . . and mean it?#