I am still learning about love. I thought I understood it--not just mother love, but the love for one's parents, for one's husband, and for one's laotong. I've experienced the other types of love--pity love, respectful love and gratitude love. But looking at our secret fan with its messages written between Snow Flower and me over many years, I see that I didn't value the most important love--deep-heart love.
If we don't love ourselves, we would not love others. When someone tell you to love others first, and to love others more than ourselves; it is impossible. If you can't love yourselves, you can't love anybody else. Therefore we must gather up our great power so that we know in what ways we are good, what special abilities we have, what wisdom, what kind of talent we have, and how big our love is. When we can recognize our virtues, we can learn how to love others.
If love is the soul of Christian existence, it must be at the heart of every other Christian virtue. Thus, for example, justice without love is legalism; faith without love is ideology; hope without love is self-centeredness; forgiveness without love is self-abasement; fortitude without love is recklessness; generosity without love is extravagance; care without love is mere duty; fidelity without love is servitude. Every virtue is an expression of love. No virtue is really a virtue unless it is permeated, or informed, by love.
I want that love that moved the mountains. I want that love that split the ocean. I want that love that made the winds tremble. I want that love that roared like thunder. I want that love that will raise the dead. I want that love that lifts us to ecstasy. I want that love that is the silence of eternity.
There's love and there's romantic love. The Greeks had different words for different kinds of love. And we just got "love." I don't know what you would call the other kinds - maybe brotherly love, Christian love, the love of Saint Francis, love of everyone and everything. Then there's romantic love, which, by and large, is a pain in the ass, a kind of trauma.
Love, I would later conclude, was all things to all people. Love was the breaking and healing of hearts. Love was misunderstood, love was faith, love was the promise of now that became hope for the future. Love was a rhythm, a resonance, a reverberation. Love was awkward and foolish, it was aggressive and simple and possessed of so many indefinable qualities it could never be conveyed in language. Love was being. The same gravity that relentlessly pulled at me was defied as I rose into something that became everything.
Your disrespect for me is apparent. You never respected me when I think about it and you never liked me. But I'm the parent and you're the child and it is not your job to love me the way I love you. My love for you is unconditional and no matter what you decide in your life I will love you. Doesn't mean I have to like it, but I will always love you. Love, Dad
I am free, you see," she said, "to love or to withhold love. Love and dependence need no longer be the same thing to me. I am free to love. that is why I love you and it is the way I love you. If you have come here, Kit, because you think you owe me something, because you believe I might crumble without your protection, then go away again with my blessing and find happiness with someone else." "I love you," he said again.
Practise any one of the human values. Prema (love) is the basis for all the values. Action with love is right conduct. Speak with love and it becomes truth. Thinking with love results in peace. Understanding with love leads to non-violence. For everything love is primary. Where there is love there is no place for hatred.
Pablito, the Bible was meant to be a bridge, not a wedge. It's the greatest love story ever told, about God's enduring and unconditional love for his creation--love beyond all reason. To understand it, you have to read it with love as the standard. Love God. Love your neighbor. Love yourself. Always remember that.
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