Men, Women, & the Mystery of Love: Chapter 1

Introduction: Love and Responsibility was written in the late 1950s, during the post-war sexual revolution, by Karol Wojtyla (before he became St. Pope John Paul II) while he was teaching young adults at the Catholic University of Lublin in Poland. He wrote that his reasons for publishing the book (first in Polish, later in English in 1960) were ‘born principally of the need to put the norms of Catholic sexual morality on a firm basis, a basis as definitive as possible, relying on the most elementary and incontrovertible moral truths and the most fundamental values or goods.’

Chapter 1: The Three Kinds of Friendship

Friendship of Utility – affection is based on the benefit or use the friends derive from the relationship; getting something to his or her own advantage; mutual benefit of the relationship is what unites two (or a group of) people as friends.

Pleasant friendship – the basis of affection is the pleasure one gets out of the relationship; one sees the friend as a cause of some pleasure (mostly having fun, experiencing the good times together) for himself.

Virtuous friendship – two friends are united not in self-interest, but in the pursuit of a common goal: the good, moral life found in virtue; friendship in the fullest sense.

Why is a work like “Love & Responsibility” so critical in our time and culture?

How would you explain the concept of personalist principle?

How have you noticed or experienced the spirit of utilitarianism–men and women using others for one’s personal benefit and pleasure–in relationships?

How do we fall into the three different types of friendships? How have your friendships changed over the years? (Utilitarian, pleasant, virtuous)


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Lover of books, wandering, music, coffee and Jesus. I'm a curious storyteller with (and a child at) heart.

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