When Jesus speaks of love, he mentions in Maria Valtorta’s visions that there are different powers or degrees of love. As I read this, I perked up. I got married recently and that’s why I am particularly interested in the topic of love. According to Jesus there are two levels of love with three subcategories each.
For me an interesting concept – which I also observe in my life. For example, my parents always put us children above each other. My father and mother loved their work, but we were much more important to them. My mother was involved in many associations and charities. In retrospect we children came first (even if I sometimes saw it differently in the past).
I quickly want to describe the concepts here and provide a graphic further below:
3 highest loves
These are the highest as without these loves, we humans would not exist. (all quotes in the following text are taken from Valtorta, “The poem of the man-god”, chapter 196 (The Sabbat at Gethsemane):
- 1st Power – Love given to God (100% spiritual): „God is to be loved because He is God, so no explanation is required to convince one to have such love. He is He Who is, that is Everything; and man: Nothing, who participates of Everything, because of the soul infused in him by Eternal God – without which soul man would be one of the many animals that live on the earth, or in water or in the air – he must adore Him from a sense of duty and to deserve to survive in Everything, that is to deserve to be part of the holy People of God in Heaven, a citizen of the Jerusalem which will know neither profanation nor destruction forever.“
- 2nd Power – Love of a mother or a father (2/3rd spiritual, 1/3rd carnal): “It is true that human affection is mixed in it, but the superior sentiment prevails, because a father and mother, who are such in a wholesome and holy way, do not only feed and caress the body of their child, but they give also nourishment and love to the mind and the spirit of their creature. And what I am saying is so true, that those who devote themselves to children, even if only to educate them, end up by loving their pupils, as if they were of their own flesh.“
- 3rd Power – Conjugal love (50% spiritual, 50% carnal): „A man, besides being the husband of his wife, is a teacher and a father to her; and a woman is an angel and a mother to her husband, besides being his wife.“; „Since before sin everything in creation was regulated by and based on love, that multiplication of children would have been a holy, pure, powerful, perfect love. And God gave it as His first commandment to man: “Be fruitful and multiply.” Therefore, love your children after Me. Love, as it is now, the present procreator of children, did not exist then. There was no malice nor the detestable thirst for sensuality. Man loved woman and woman loved man, naturally, not naturally according to nature as we understand it, or rather, as you men understand it, but according to the nature of children of God: supernaturally. Sweet were the days of love of the Two who were brothers, because born of one Father, and yet were husband and wife, who loved and looked at each other with the innocent eyes of twins in a cradle; and man felt the love of a father for his wife “bone from his bones and flesh from his flesh”, what a son is for his father; and the woman experienced the joy of being a daughter, protected by a very high love, because she felt that she had in herself something of the wonderful man who loved her, with innocence and angelical ardour, in the beautiful meadows in Eden!”
Love of second series
“„Man will leave his father and his mother and will join himself to his wife and they will become one body.” If there had not been the three pillars of the three above mentioned loves, could there have been love for one’s neighbor? No. It could not have existed. The love of God makes God a friend and teaches love. Who does not love God, Who is good, cannot certainly love his neighbor who in most cases is faulty. If there had been no conjugal love and paternity in the world, there could have been no neighbors, because a neighbor is the son of man.“
- 4th Power – Love for our neighbor: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Mark 12:31) Therefore, as I understand it, self-love is on the same level.
- 5th Power – Love of science: I find it interesting that Jesus lists the love of science as a great type of love already over two thousand years ago. Clerical workers a few centuries ago tended to hold back science. This makes it clear that this was not in God’s interest, but based on their own best self-interest and abuse of power. Jesus thus confirms that the love and interest in science is an ingrained element of a human being. It should thus be fostered, however, not be placed above the loves of 1st to 4th power.
- 6th Power – Love of work: Several times in the Bible and Valtorta’s writings we read about the value of work, to get involved, to use one’s talents and gifts.
What about other things, e.g. money, power etc.? Jesus tells us: “There are other hungers. But they are not loves. They are the negation of love. They deny God, they deny man. They cannot be love because they are negations and negation is hatred.“
I was pondering to which power the love for one’s parents belongs? To honor the parents is one of the ten commandments. Thus, it should either be the 2nd power if you reciprocate the love you receive from your parents or at least on the level of neighborly love if you respect the commandment.
Here the concept is as well shown graphically: