Every so often I love a good chick flick, hence today’s post of When in Rome. It’s probably not winning any Oscars, but I thought it was pretty good. Basically what happens is this woman named Beth (played by Kristen Bell) takes some coins out of a magical fountain of love in Rome, causing the men who threw those coins in the fountain to fall in love with her. Of course these guys are all awkwardly creepy and begin to obsess over this beautiful woman because they are under this extremely strong magical spell. The big twist comes when Beth herself falls in love with this guy Nick (played by Josh Duhamel), and he obviously loves her too, but Beth thinks the only reason he loves her is because one of those coins, more specifically a poker chip, that came out of the fountain belonged to him. Here arises a moral dilemma: do you take advantage of the “spell”, are acknowledge that the love is not real because he did not freely will it. The question is; can true love be forced on someone. Luckily for us, Beth makes the right decision, providing us with this beautiful quote…
“If I take his love against his will, it is not love at all”
This perfectly reflects one beautiful aspect of God’s love for us. God has blessed each and every one of us with free will, we are all free to choose to accept God as our Lord and Savior or to reject him and follow the ways of selfishness and sin. Sometimes, especially in our world today where sin seems to be everywhere, it’s easy to imagine a world without free will, a world where everyone had no choice but to worship God and follow his commands. Such a world would be a world without war, murder, rape, pornography, a world where kids obeyed their parents, everyone went to mass, spent their lives worshiping God, etc. What a peaceful place the world would be!
The thing is that in order to obtain this “perfect earthly world”, individual free will would have to be sacrificed. However, just as Beth tells us in this movie love that is not freely willed is not true love. If God did not bless us with a free will, allow us the opportunity to freely accept him ourselves, rather than him force his love upon us, God would not be a loving father, but rather an oppressive dictator. God IS love, all love comes from God; therefore God is also the example of perfect love itself. Just think how much richer, deeper, truer our relationship with God is because it is freely offered and not forced. We are not God’s robots programmed just the way he wants us to be, no…we are God’s beloved sons and daughters. Though we will run away from our Father in Heaven at times, we know his love is always there for us, always being freely given to us.
“Lord God, thank you again for the blessing of our relationship. It humbles me so much to think about how you, the eternal amazing God of the universe, would desire a real, personal relationship with me. You never stop offering me your unending love. Help me to freely respond to your gift of love, to show my gratitude through acts of worship to you alone, and charity to my brothers and sisters.