Vatican City — Real love is constant, concrete and communicates -- it is action over words and it obeys the Beatitudes, Pope Francis said at his morning Mass.
True love is not "soap-opera love," or "a whim" or something that "makes our heart beat a little faster," and then nothing more, the pope said Thursday during the Mass in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae.
Love is found "in concrete actions," he said, which is why Jesus told his disciples that only those who do the Father's will would enter into the kingdom of heaven, not those who just call out, "Lord, Lord."
The pope said there are two things that distinguish real love from imitations.
"True love is concrete, it is in deeds, it is a love that is constant. It isn't plain enthusiasm. Also, many times it is love that is painful," like when Jesus carried the cross out of love for humanity, he said.
God is real and concrete, having "become flesh to save us," and he asks people to love in ways that are just as concrete, he said.
Whoever loves lives according to the Beatitudes, which is "Jesus' pastoral program," he said, and cares for others in the specific ways outlined in the 25th chapter of the Gospel of Matthew: caring for the hungry, thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick and the imprisoned.
The second thing real love does is communicate and compel people to give themselves and receive in return, he said, according to Vatican Radio.
Love never isolates people or traps them in "a spiritual form of egoism, staying closed up in oneself, searching for one's own advantage. That's selfishness," he said.
Therefore, to remain in Jesus' love means doing and it means being able to communicate and dialogue both with God and one's neighbor, he said.
"This is simple. But it isn't easy. Because selfishness, self interest lures us and it lures us to do nothing and it lures us to not communicate with each other," Pope Francis said.
By remaining in Christ's love and keeping his commandments, people will find a joy so complete, it can never be taken away, he said.