May 26th: Personhood IV.

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Yesterday, in our reflection, we ended by linking the notion of personhood to love.  Here are several passages from Karol Wojtyla’s Love and Responsibility that express this idea:

The person is an entity of a sort to which the only proper and adequate way to relate is love.

Love is concerned with persons directly and immediately: the affirmation of the value of the person as such is of its essence.

To the structure of the person belongs an ‘interior,’ in which we find the elements of spiritual life, and it is this that compels us to acknowledge the spiritual nature of the human soul….  This determines the value of the person.

The fundamental ethical characteristic of love…is an affirmation of the person or else it is not love at all.  If it is informed with a proper attitude to the value of the person, it is love in all its fullness.

Love in the full sense of the word is a virtue, not just an emotion.  This virtue is produced in the will….

The will, then, is the source of the affirmation of the person which permeates all the reactions, and all the feelings, the whole behaviour of the subject.


Can there be even more?  Yes: our love, our personhood is meant to take its form from the person of Christ.  Although we are ‘not interchangeable’ with any other person on the level of our free will, we can experience union with Christ and with others.  But how can this be so?  Haven’t I just said with Karol Wojtyla that a person is “not capable of transmission”?  How then can we be united to others without losing our identity?  We will explore this question in tomorrow’s post.




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