Fr. Stan tells teens '2' love

By  Luc Rinaldi, Youth Speak News
  • February 26, 2010
{mosimage}U Got 2 Love by Fr. Stan Fortuna, C.F.R. (Our Sunday Visitor Publishing Division, 254 pages, $13.95.)

In the latest instalment of the U Got 2 series from renowned rapping priest Fr. Stan Fortuna, Catholics are not only urged, but called “2” love.

This follow-up to U Got 2 Believe and U Got 2 Pray dedicates itself to the dominant force in our faith and provides Catholics with a desperately needed and refreshing approach to a world stuck chasing impoverished and superficial love.

“Love is something that cannot be taught, but it is absolutely valuable that we learn something about it.” This line from Pope John Paul II seems to lay the foundation and feel of Fortuna’s book, and sets the stage for an anthology of quotes from an impressive and broad variety of sources.

Fortuna doesn’t claim to understand everything about love, but does know that we have to love, “because it’s only when we love that we can be happy.” To lay down his commentary and valuable lessons, Fortuna divides his book into “33 Considerations to Help Us Learn Something About Love,” a structure that allows the book to flow well. With topics ranging from “Is Love Possible?” to “The Victory of Love,” the reader explores the love of one’s neighbour, romantic love and the transcendent love of God.

{sa 1592763375}Fortuna quickly gets to the heart of the issue and doesn’t hesitate to push his readers to “drop the question: what will I get out of it?” This selfishness is the greatest obstacle to enriching our human love with divine, never-failing power. After addressing this fundamental problem that seems to be the root of all other corruptions of love, Fortuna continues to explore other difficulties we face and presents ways to overcome them, often with a selfless attitude of submission to the will of the Father.

In his attempt to truthfully address this transcendental concept, Fortuna frequently quotes John Paul II, and to a lesser extent Pope Benedict XVI, saints and lay people from the past and present. Almost every page features a quote from one of these characters, invaluable and essential to the power of the book.

Readers will undoubtedly pick up a unique and seemingly frustrating feature though, within the first sentence. The “droppin’ ” of the “g” is his attempt to communicate in a less formal way, as if he were speaking to the reader. Those familiar with the urban and modern personality of Fortuna can quickly overlook, even come to value, this distinctive element. Though it may distract some readers, once accepted and gotten used to, it certainly adds to the book’s special style.

Fortuna also provides the reader with an unbelievable collection of texts and quotes, titled “The Love Zone.” This anthology, comprised of almost 150 different entries, takes from clergy and laity, from St. Paul to Gandhi, Lennon to Van Gogh. This selection is a testament to the amount of history and experience behind Fortuna’s book, and would be an invaluable tool standing alone.

U Got 2 Love is a much-needed guide in a society driven by secularism and individualism. It calls Catholics and all people to “set the world on fire with love,” a love that is energetic, redeeming and even painful. An essential read for Catholics of all ages, this book inspires a joyful and youthful resurfacing of the God-given love that has the power to transform us. Through this well-written and often overwhelmingly powerful book, Fortuna turns an obligation into a willingness, leaving the reader not only having “2” love, but wanting “2” love.

(Rinaldi, 18, is a Grade 12 student at Brebeuf College in Toronto.)

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