A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another
We experience the love of God through being loved by others. Love is not something that we instantly fall into as romantic songs suggest. It is the willingness to open oneself to see, appreciate and respect the true value of another. It is a willingness to take on the joys and sufferings of being open to a caring relationship. Our own loves are revelations of God’s love: love of family, of partner, of friends, of community, of animals, of nature. Love is also the acceptance of the value others place on us. Love enriches us and makes life full. A loveless life is empty and dry. As a spiritual practice, love of self, love of neighbors, and love of God are foundational to all the world’s religions.
May I always love others with reverence and respect.
Read and reflect on Paul’s commentary on love printed below. How does it apply to you?
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became an adult I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13
Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.
Immature love says: ‘I love you because I need you.’ Mature love says ‘I need you because I love you.’
Where there is love there is life.
One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving.
Friends can help each other. A true friend is someone who lets you have total freedom to be yourself – and especially to feel. Or, not feel. Whatever you happen to be feeling at the moment is fine with them. That’s what real love amounts to – letting a person be what he really is.
Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead.
Love is like a friendship caught on fire. In the beginning a flame, very pretty, often hot and fierce, but still only light and flickering. As love grows older, our hearts mature and our love becomes as coals, deep-burning and unquenchable.
I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.