You are my glory,( Ps. 3:3) and the joy of my heart;(Ps. 119:111) for You are my hope, and my refuge in time of trouble.(Ps 59:16)
As yet my love is weak, and my virtue imperfect, and I have great need of Your strength and comfort. Therefore, visit me often, I pray, and instruct me in Your holy laws. Set me free from evil passions, and heal my heart from all disorderly affections; that, healed and cleansed in spirit, I may grow able to love, strong to endure, and steadfast to persevere.
Love is a mighty power, a great and complete good; Love alone lightens every burden, and makes the rough places smooth. It bears every hardship as though it were nothing, and renders all bitterness sweet and acceptable. The love of Jesus is noble, and inspires us to great deeds; it moves us always to desire perfection. Love aspires to high things, and is held back by nothing base. Love longs to be free, a stranger to every worldly desire, lest its inner vision become dimmed, and lest worldly self-interest hinder it or ill fortune cast it down. Nothing is sweeter than love, nothing stronger, nothing higher, nothing wider, nothing more pleasant, nothing fuller or better in heaven or earth; for love is born of God,( I John 4:7)and can rest only in God, above all created things.
Thomas 'a Kempis
Power coerces, knowledge persuades, love converts.
...behave to everyone as if you were receiving a great guest.
The Moral Lesson"
The ... moral lesson which is suited for a child - the most important lesson for every time of life - is, this, "Never hurt anybody."
"Be A Giver"
O, Divine Master, Grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console; To be understood as to understand; To be loved as to love; For it is in giving that we receive; It is in pardoning that we are pardoned; And it is in dying to ourselves that we are born to eternal life. Amen.
Francis of Assisi
"Love The Ones You're With"
Endow the Living - with the Tears - You squander on the Dead.
“Vulnerability For Love’s Sake”
To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully around with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket-safe, dark, motionless, airless-it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable; the alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.”
“One of The Great Secrets”
“But love, in the Christian sense, does not mean an emotion. It is a state not of the feelings but of the will...it would be quite wrong to think that the way to become charitable is to sit trying to manufacture affectionate feelings. Some people are ‘cold’ by temperament; that may be a misfortune for them, but it is no more a sin than having a bad digestion is a sin; and it does not cut them out from the chance, or excuse them from the duty, of learning charity. The rule for all of us is simple. Do not waste time bothering whether you ‘love’ your neighbour; act as if you did. As soon as we do this we find one of the great secrets. When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him...The worldly man treats certain people kindly because he ‘likes’ them: the Christian, trying to treat everyone kindly, finds himself liking more and more people as he goes on—including people he could not even have imagined himself liking at the beginning.”
Great people are those who make others feel that they too, can become great.
“Hating The Sin Because We Love The Sinner”
For a long time I used to think this a silly, straw-splitting distinction: how could you hate what a man did and not hate the man? But years later it occurred to me that there was one man to whom I had been doing this all my life—namely myself. However much I might dislike my own cowardice or conceit or greed, I went on loving myself. There had never been the slightest difficulty about it. In fact the very reason I hated the things was that I loved the man. Just because I loved myself, I was sorry to find that I was the sort of man who did those things. Consequently, Christianity does not want us to reduce by one atom the hatred we feel for cruelty and treachery. We ought to hate them. Not one word of what we have said about them needs to be unsaid. But it does want us to hate them in the same way in which we hate things in ourselves: being sorry that the man would have done such things, and hoping, if it is any way possible, that somehow, sometime, somewhere he can be cured...
“The Fluid Love Bleeds When You Cut It”
I plead guilty. When I was writing about pleasures last week I had quite forgotten about the mala mentis gaudia—the pleasures of the mind which are intrinsically evil. The pleasure, say, of having a grievance. What a disappointment it is—for one self-revealing moment—to discover that the other party was not really to blame? And how a resentment, while it lasts, draws one back and back to nurse and fondle and encourage it! It behaves just like a lust...resentment is pleasant only as a relief from, or alternative to, humiliation...’I was angry with my friend: I told my wrath, my wrath did end. I was angry with my foe: I told it not, my wrath did grow.’(Blake) You too know better. Anger-no peevish fit of temper, but just, generous, scalding indignation—passes (not necessarily at once) into embracing, exultant, re-welcoming love. That is how friends and lovers are truly reconciled. Hot wrath, hot love. Such anger is the fluid that love bleeds when you cut it.
"Striving For The Ideal Relationally"
Our supreme model for unity is the Trinity…Just like every parent, our heavenly Father enjoys watching His children get along with each other…conflict is usually a sign that the focus has shifted to less important issues...Pastors often have the unpleasant task of serving as mediator between hurt, conflicting, or immature members…Sometimes you will have to do what ‘s best for the Body, not yourself, showing preference to others. That’s one reason God puts us into a church family- to learn unselfishness...Once you discover what God intends real fellowship to be, it is easy to become discouraged by the gap between the ideal and the real in your church. Yet we must passionately love the church in spite of its imperfections. Longing for the ideal while criticizing the real is evidence of immaturity. On the other hand, settling for the real without striving for the ideal is complacency. Maturity is living with the tension...We must remember that it was God who chose to give us different personalities, backgrounds, races, and preferences, so we should value and enjoy those differences, not merely tolerate them.
"How Can I Tell If I Love God Best?"
It is probably impossible to love any human being "too much." We may love him too much in proportion to our love for God; but it is the smallness of our love for God, not the greatness of our love for the man, that constitutes the inordinacy...the question whether we are loving God or the earthly Beloved "more" is not, so far as concerns our Christian duty, a question about the comparative intensity of two feelings. The real question is, which (when the alternative comes) do you serve, or choose, or put first? To which claim does your will, in the last resort, yield?
“Passion And Reason”
“If Passion drives, let Reason hold the Reins”
To love and be loved - this
On earth is the highest bliss.
"Nourish And Cherish"
Love thou the rose, yet leave it on its stem.
Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton
“Permission to Marry Your Daughter”
“’I have now to ask, whether you can consent to part with your daughter early next spring, to see her no more in the world; whether you can consent to her departure, and her subjection to the hardships and sufferings of missionary life; whether you can consent to her exposure to the dangers of the ocean, to the fatal influence of the southern climate of India; to every kind of want and distress; to degradation, insult, persecution, and perhaps a violent death. Can you consent to all this, for the sake of Him who left His heavenly home, and died for her and for you; for the sake of perishing, immortal souls; for the sake of Zion, and the glory of God? Can you consent to all this, in hope of soon meeting your daughter in the world of glory, with the crown of righteousness, brightened with the acclamations of praise which shall redound to her Savior from heathens saved, through her means, from eternal woe and despair?’ Her father let her decide. She said yes. God does not call us to ease but to faithful joy...any...goal, without the desire to give people eternal joy in God, is condemnation with a kind face. Love always wants what is best for the needy, and what’s best is enjoying God fully and forever.
John Piper/Adoniram Judson
"In Memory Of An Honorable Soldier: The Most Beautiful Love Note Ever Scribed"
July 14, 1861
My very dear Sarah:
The indications are very strong that we shall move in a few days—perhaps tomorrow. Lest I should not be able to write again, I feel impelled to write a few lines that may fall under your eye when I shall be no more . . .
I have no misgivings about, or lack of confidence in the cause in which I am engaged, and my courage does not halt or falter. I know how strongly American Civilization now leans on the triumph of the Government and how great a debt we owe to those who went before us through the blood and sufferings of the Revolution. And I am willing—perfectly willing—to lay down all my joys in this life, to help maintain this Government, and to pay that debt . . .
Sarah my love for you is deathless, it seems to bind me with mighty cables that nothing but Omnipotence could break; and yet my love of Country comes over me like a strong wind and bears me unresistibly on with all these chains to the battle field.
The memories of the blissful moments I have spent with you come creeping over me, and I feel most gratified to God and to you that I have enjoyed them for so long. And hard it is for me to give them up and burn to ashes the hopes of future years, when, God willing, we might still have lived and loved together, and seen our sons grown up to honorable manhood, around us. I have, I know, but few and small claims upon Divine Providence, but something whispers to me—perhaps it is the wafted prayer of my little Edgar, that I shall return to my loved ones unharmed. If I do not my dear Sarah, never forget how much I love you, and when my last breath escapes me on the battlefield, it will whisper your name. Forgive my many faults and the many pains I have caused you. How thoughtless and foolish I have often times been! How gladly would I wash out with my tears every little spot upon your happiness . . .
But, O Sarah! If the dead can come back to this earth and flit unseen around those they loved, I shall always be near you; in the gladdest days and in the darkest nights . . . always, always, and if there be a soft breeze upon your cheek, it shall be my breath, as the cool air fans your throbbing temple, it shall be my spirit passing by. Sarah do not mourn me dead; think I am gone and wait for thee, for we shall meet again . . .
Sullivan Ballou was killed a week later at the first Battle of Bull Run, July 21, 1861.
"A Lesson In Love and Gratitude: One Woman's Letter to Her Deceased Husband."
Death is the great leveler, is it not? Want to hear a good one? The groundskeeper tells me about all these headstones with "19__" etched into them and now only seven months to make good on it. A little permutation on the Y2K problem. What do I do with these flowers? I wonder (I will keep the ribbon: "Loving Husband" "Loving Father"). The succulent reds and yellows of the spray we left for you are now as nondescript as the washed-out, brittle pages of old books, the blossoms being in mid-transformation to the dust whence they came. Which is only right. Why should they survive and you not? Cemeteries are time warps, I have always felt. Just a quarter mile off the main road, but a pocket of eternity unto itself, the murmuring oaks the only sound, perennial music of the house of mourning. ... But for a train that breaks the stillness at 20-minute intervals. Your brother quipped to the graveman that you'd feel right at home here since a railroad slices through our own backyard. It was the first time anyone chuckled in four months. At the memorial service I told them about the little boy in Chonju in 1962 (I hope that's OK), who crossed out all the multiple choices and penciled in, " All the above wrong. Man not evolved from any animal." You scrubbed the latrine after school for your contumacy, and your Mom was proud. God's economy is strange. I would never remove a creature so fine, so before the time (There's a giant hole in the universe now). But I am a catechized lady and I know: He it is who fills the shuttle, who plies the loom, and has a billion strands to weave into His tapestry. Here are Rachel and Leah on one level, conniving and competing for Jacob's love. And when the smoke clears, here is God on another level, and the 12 tribes of Israel standing all in a row. He is building His kingdom. I know it in my head. Ah, Young, God has fitted His bow with a single arrow and has hit not only you, but me, and the four children, and the whole church as well. Because of us the fear of the Lord has fallen on many. Already I hear rumors of wives loving their husbands better, husbands their wives. How the planted seed has sent its shoots outs everywhere. And I would trade all that sanctification just to have you back for one day. But that's because I'm finite and sinful and see but through a glass darkly. This is the first scribbling of mine that will not fall under your discerning eye. You were the writer, dear, pointing men to Christ for exotic markets in a language I never quite learned, more in the manner of Flannery O'Connor than of Francis Schaeffer. For all truth is God's truth. Rev. Min says when I feel myself sinking I must start from the beginning: What is true? What is real? God is alive. I am His daughter. You His true son. Some distance from here a mason is busy inscribing my name next to yours, by my command. Give me a good reason why I should bother to leave here at all before keeping that last rendezvous. The shadows lengthen. I cannot stay. Peter, James, and John were not allowed to linger either, remember? Back down the mount for the lot of you, smack into the gritty commotion of sick kids and spirits to be cleaned out. But hide the transfiguration in your heart, that little intrusion of the eschaton. To feed on till the substance of things hoped for can be touched. I will see you again, my darling. And soon.
Andree Seu's husband, Young Seu, died May 29.
"Stop And Say 'I Love You'"
The death of a spouse, one learns, is a package that comes full of surprises released one by one...The lesson of this year is finite numbers: There is a finite number of rainbows you will see in your lifetime, a finite number of full moons - and surprisingly few after all. A finite number of times you will walk into your husband's study and choose to stop and say "I love you," or just brush past for the book you were after."
“The Engine of Marriage”
“...the most dangerous thing you can do is to take any one impulse of our own nature and set it up as the thing you ought to follow at all costs. Being in love is a good thing, but it is not the best thing. There are many things below it, but there are also things above it. You cannot make it the basis of a whole life. It is a noble feeling, but it is still a feeling. Now no feeling can be relied on to last in its full intensity, or even to last at all. Knowledge can last, principles can last, habits can last; but feelings come and go, and in fact, whatever people say, the state called ‘being in love’ usually does not last. If the old fairy-tale ending “They lived happily ever after’ is taken to mean “They felt for the next fifty years exactly as they felt the day before they were married,’ then it says what probably never was nor ever would be true, and would be highly undesirable if it were. Who could bear to live in that excitement for even five years? What would become of your work, your appetite, your sleep, your friendships? But of course, ceasing to be ‘in love’ need not mean ceasing to love. Love in this second sense-love as distinct from ‘being in love’-is not merely a feeling. It is a deep unity, maintained by the will and deliberately strengthened by habit; reinforced by (in Christian marriages) the grace which both partners ask, and receive, from God. They can have this love for each other even at those moments when they do not like each other; as you love yourself even when you do not like yourself. They can retain this love even when each would easily, if they allowed themselves, be ‘in love with someone else. ‘Being in love’ first moved them to promise fidelity: this quieter love enables them to keep the promise. It is on this love that the engine of marriage is run: being in love was the explosion that started it.”
"Benjamin Franklin On Love And Marriage"
* Beauty and folly are old companions *
* Marry above thy match, and thou'lt get a master *
* Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, half shut afterwards *
* Let thy maid-servant be faithful, strong, and homely *
* You can bear your own Faults, and why not a Fault in your Wife *
"In Life's Road trip"
Love doesn't make the world go 'round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.
Franklin P. Jones
In love, one and one are one.
"The Wind of Absence"
Absence is to love what wind is to fire; it extinguishes the small, it kindles the great.
Who marries for money earns it.
"Feelings: A Fickle Tyrant"
"...life is lived out in the matrix of time, in a succession of moments. And therefore, living is marked by inconstancy of feelings, feelings that would threaten to pull asunder by centrifugal force if not brought into submission to a higher rule...the tempted woman "sues for grace" (as the Puritan used to say), until the impulses threatening her very soul abate...Where feelings were fickle tyrants, covenant is a gentle yoke and dependable master, leading her to safe harbors...because life is not tidy, we hold each other's feet to the covenant. It tides us over the thin patches of feelings, till the day we all come to full sight."
"Lover Or User?"
A good person loves people and uses things, while a bad person loves things and uses people.
Sydney J. Harris
The Jealous are Troublesome to others, but a Torment to themselves.
"The Dragon: Jealousy"
Jealousy, that dragon which slays love under the pretense of keeping it alive
"Love Is Not Jealous"
Jealousy is a terrible thing. It resembles love, only it is precisely love's contrary. Instead of wishing for the welfare of the object loved, it desires the dependence of the object upon itself, and its own triumph.
"The Thrill Is Gone?"
...those who are in love have a natural inclination to bind themselves by promises. Love songs all over the world are full of vows of eternal constancy. The Christian law is not forcing upon the passion of love, something which is foreign to that passion's own nature: it is demanding that lovers should take seriously something which their passion of itself impels them to do. And, of course, the promise, made when I am in love and because I am in love, to be true to the beloved as long as I live, commits one to being true even if I cease to be in love. A promise must be about things that I can do, about actions: no one can promise to go on feeling in a certain way. He might as well promise never to have a headache or always to feel hungry.
Eros does not aim at happiness. We may think he does, but when he is brought to the test it proves otherwise. Everyone knows that it is useless to try to separate lovers by proving to them that their marriage will be an unhappy one. This is not only because they will disbelieve you. They usually will, no doubt. But even if they believed, they would not be dissuaded. For it is the very mark of Eros that when he is in us we had rather share unhappiness with the Beloved than be happy on any other terms...Eros, honoured without reservation and obeyed unconditionally, becomes a demon. And this is just how he claims to be honoured and obeyed. Divinely indifferent to our selfishness, he is also demonically rebellious to every claim of God or Man that would oppose him. Hence as the poet says: People in love cannot be moved by kindness.
And opposition makes them feel like martyrs. Martyrs is exactly right...Of all loves he is, at his height, most god-like; therefore most prone to demand our worship. Of himself he always tends to turn "being in love" into a sort of religion... The real danger seems to me not that the lovers will idolise each other but that they will idolise Eros himself...He is notoriously the most mortal of our loves..."I will be ever true," are almost the first words he utters...Eros is driven to promise what Eros of himself cannot perform...Thus Eros, like the other loves, but more strikingly because of his strength, sweetness, terror and high port, reveals his true status. He cannot of himself be what, nevertheless, he must be if he is to remain Eros. He needs help; therefore needs to be ruled. The god dies or becomes a demon unless he obeys God. It would be well if, in such case, he always died. But he may live on, mercilessly chaining together two mutual tormentors, each raw all over with the poison of hate- in-love, each ravenous to receive and implacably refusing to give, jealous, suspicious, resentful, struggling for the upper hand, determined to be free and to allow no freedom, living on "scenes."
"The Slumbering Leviathan"
"Cephalus...was relieved to have escaped the "mad and furious master" of the more youthful pleasures. This resonated with a 17-year-old who could already see that love was a problem - a force associated with anguish, bondage, obsession...It is fun, I suppose, to feel faint like the "Beloved" who sighs in the quicksand of her emotions, "I am sick with love" (Song of Solomon 2:1-7)...But it begins to seem too, that love has its drawbacks. Falling in love can be debilitating, enfeebling, and all-consuming...But love is a sleeping tiger, and Song a solemn warning of its bottled-up danger, a force which if approached unwisely will consume a man and all he has (8:6-7, Proverbs 5; James 1:14-15, Jude 8, Revelation 18:3) Are you ready for those feelings? I have been young and now I am old, and I adjure you, O children of Jerusalem that you "not awaken love until it pleases". Heed the caution, that you also may enjoy the garden in season. The wise man will take care for his affections and keep them in the bound of God's design, while the foolhardy will tickle the slumbering Leviathan before its time.
“God doesn't look so much at the greatness of our actions or their difficulty, but at the love with which we do them.” St. Teresa
“Born To Love”
We were born of love, our purpose is to love, and we will return to love.
“Embodying Perfect Love”
You love things that are worthy of love. You surrender to a community or cause, make promises to other people, build a thick jungle of loving attachments, lose yourself in the daily act of serving others as they lose themselves in the daily acts of serving you. Character is a good thing to have, and there’s a lot to be learned on the road to character. But there’s a better thing to have—moral joy. And that serenity arrives as you come closer to embodying perfect love.
“Love your crooked neighbor with all your crooked heart”
Wystan Hugh Auden
“Soulmates Are Mirrors”
People think a soulmate is your perfect fit and that's what everyone wants but a true soulmate is a mirror --- the person who shows you everything that's holding you back, the person that brings you to your own attention so you can change your life. A true soulmate is probably the most important person you'll ever meet because they tear down your walls and smack you awake ... to reveal another layer of yourself to...break your heart open so new light could come in ... shake You up...to tear apart your ego a little bit...to reveal to you your obstacles and addictions.
Standing in someone's shoes feeling with their heart seeing with their eyes this is empathy It's a fundamental human ability it makes the world a better place it is hard to outsource and hard to automate.