“LOVE is designing the greatest good for the beloved,” quotes Leah Darrow from St. Thomas Aquinas.
A symposium for teenagers was held at University of the Philippines Diliman last August 31 titled Pure Mind Pure Heart II: Real Love Revolution 2012 Series.
A total of 35 schools attended the event held at the UP Theater, most of which were high school students. It was spearheaded by Youth for the Family(Y-FAM)-PAREF Woodrose Chapter alongside the University of Asia and the Pacific and Center for Social Responsibility.
Guest speakers Chris Stefanick and Leah Darrow graced the event and gave an inspirational and realistic definition of love. Stefanick is an outstanding and worldwide speaker on love, courtships and relationships, while Leah Darrow is a model-turned-inspirational speaker and a former finalist of the hit TV show America’s Next Top Model Cycle 3.
“What is love?” Many people have different definitions of love. Many think that when you love someone, it is okay to have sex with that person, but that is obviously wrong. Sex is a sacred act that is to be performed within the bounds of marriage. “Who invented sex? It is God,” says Chris. It has two purposes: to bring life into the world and to unite every man in the world.
Due to people’s wrong perception of love, many today live in misery. They equate love to sex. Love was never about giving one’s body. It is about respecting each other and following God’s plan of pro-creation. Real love is not about using each other; it is about laying down one’s life for each other. That’s the kind of love Christ has given us. His death on the cross is the most amazing and selfless love we could ever imagine.
“You can’t protect your heart with a condom,” says Chris. As the number of people who use condoms increases, infections brought by it also rise. According to him, Thailand, adopting the use of condoms, has 50% higher cases of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) than the Philippines. There were millions of people all over the world who have died because of STDs. “The only key to surpass and avoid it is by practicing abstinence and following the Natural Law or Divine Law,” Chris said. This would bring a healthy and happy life. He even emphasized that people are not the problem and that children are the greatest wealth.
Before he ended his talk, he left four things for people to remember to avoid “getting into trouble”: a) Don’t ask how far is too far, b) Stay out in bad or stupid situations, c) Keep your thoughts clean; and d) It’s the bound that counts.
“I was a Catholic, but I’m not acting Catholic,” said Leah who shared her experience when she lost her virginity at age 15 years old. She was tough enough to face it and everyone in the theater saluted her for her bravery to rise from the mud she fell into. She assured that change is possible and the world promises you comfort. “Never ever let anyone or anybody tell you that you can’t change,” she advised.
“In the US, happiness relies on money, on how well you are known by everybody, on how much assets you have and the like. Love was also about physical expression, proving it with your body. These are all wrong,” she said. “Everyone wants to be happy. Nobody wants to be miserable. The only way to achieve happiness is by following God who is love, God who is the greatest good.”
Leah also talked about how girls have the power to raise the bar and let the men earn their respect. She reminded everyone not to go around doing PDA (Public Display of Affection) because nobody wants to see it.
In the latter part, somebody asked Chris if he can talk to the government of the Philippines with regards to the RH Bill and he answered, “Stop letting Pres. Obama and the west put pressure on your people.” He added that people in our country who practice abstinence have become more successful than any nation who are fighting AIDS/STD. Leah, on the other hand, lamented on how her country influenced the minds of Filipinos by watching TV reality shows aired here from America as some of these are against the conservative values that we, Filipinos, have.
Overall, sex is not equal to love and there’s a difference between “I love you” and “I want you.” Women should not be seen as an object but as a human being who deserves respect and love. Real love is not about using you, it is about doing and giving what is good for you.
By Christine Fel A. Viernes