Open main menu

Religious views on love

(Redirected from Agape)

Specific religious viewsEdit

Abrahamic religionsEdit

See also: Bible quotes about love

Bahá'í FaithEdit

  • Love is the mystery of divine revelations! Love is the effulgent manifestation! Love is the spiritual fulfilment! Love is the light of the Kingdom! Love is the breath of the Holy Spirit inspired into the human spirit! Love is the cause of the manifestation of the Truth (God) in the phenomenal world!. Love is the necessary tie proceeding from the realities of things through divine creation!"

ChristianityEdit

 
Who can explain the bond of God’s love? Who is able to recount the greatness of its beauty? The height to which love leads is beyond description. ~ Clement of Rome
  • Choose to love whomsoever thou wilt: all else will follow. Thou mayest say, "I love only God, God the Father." Wrong! If Thou lovest Him, thou dost not love Him alone; but if thou lovest the Father, thou lovest also the Son. Or thou mayest say, "I love the Father and I love the Son, but these alone; God the Father and God the Son, our Lord Jesus Christ who ascended into heaven and sitteth at the right hand of the Father, the Word by whom all things were made, the Word who was made flesh and dwelt amongst us; only these do I love." Wrong again! If thou lovest the Head, thou lovest also the members; if thou lovest not the members, neither dost thou love the Head.
    • Augustine of Hippo in On the Mystical Body of Christ, p. 438. From The Whole Christ: The Historical Development of the Doctrine of the Mystical Body in Scripture and Tradition, 1938, 1962, Fr. Emile Mersch, S. J., (1890-1940), John R. Kelly, S.J., tr., London, Dennis Dobson LTD.
  • Love all men, even your enemies; love them, not because they are your brothers, but that they may become your brothers. Thus you will ever burn with fraternal love, both for him who is already your brother and for your enemy, that he may by loving become your brother.
    • Augustine of Hippo in On the Mystical Body of Christ, p. 436. From The Whole Christ: The Historical Development of the Doctrine of the Mystical Body in Scripture and Tradition, 1938, 1962, Fr. Emile Mersch, S. J., (1890-1940), John R. Kelly, S.J., tr., London, Dennis Dobson LTD.
  • It is love that asks, that seeks, that knocks, that finds, and that is faithful to what it finds.
    • Augustine of Hippo, reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 392
  • Once for all, then, a short precept is given thee: Love, and do what thou wilt: whether thou hold thy peace, through love hold thy peace; whether thou cry out, through love cry out; whether thou correct, through love correct; whether thou spare, through love do thou spare: let the root of love be within, of this root can nothing spring but what is good.
  • What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like.
  • What sort of countenance does love have? What sort of shape does it have? What sort of height does it have? What sort of feet does it have? What sort of hands does it have? No one can say. Yet it has feet, for they lead to the Church. It has hands, for they stretch out to the poor person. It has eyes, for that is how he is in need is understood: Blessed, it says, is he who understands.
    • Augustine of Hippo, Homilies on the First Epistle of John, Trans. Boniface Ramsey, Works of St. Augustine, Part III, Vol. 14 (Hyde Park, NY: New City Press, 2008), Homily 7, Para 10, p. 111.
  • Quantum in te crescit amor, tantum crescit pulchritudo; quia ipsa charitas est animae pulchritudo.
    • Beauty grows in you to the extent that love grows, because charity itself is the soul's beauty.
      • Augustine of Hippo in Homilies on the First Epistle of John Ninth Homily, §9, as translated by Boniface Ramsey (2008) Augustinian Heritage Institute
    • Variant translations:
    • Inasmuch as love grows in you, in so much beauty grows; for love is itself the beauty of the soul.
      • Ten Homilies on the First Epistle of John (1995), The Nicene and Post Nicene Fathers, Ninth Homily, §9, as translated by H. Browne and J. H. Meyers
    • Since love grows within you, so beauty grows. For love is the beauty of the soul.
      • As translated in The Little Book of Bathroom Philosophy : Daily Wisdom from the Greatest Thinkers (2004) by Gregory Bergman, p. 50.
  • Nondum amabam, et amare amabam...quaerebam quid amarem, amans amare.
  • Sero te amavi, pulchritudo tam antiqua et tam nova, sero te amavi! et ecce intus eras et ego foris, et ibi te quaerebam.
    • Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient and ever new! Late have I loved you! And, behold, you were within me, and I out of myself, and there I searched for you.
      • Augustine of Hippo in Confessions (c. 397), X, 27, as translated in Theology and Discovery: Essays in honor of Karl Rahner, S.J. (1980) edited by William J. Kelly
    • Variant translations:
      • So late I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient and ever new! So late I loved you!
        • The Ethics of Modernism: Moral Ideas in Yeats, Eliot, Joyce, Woolf, and Beckett‎ (2007), by Lee Oser, p. 29
      • Too late I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient and ever new! Too late I loved you! And, behold, you were within me, and I out of myself, and there I searched for you.
        • Introduction to a Philosophy of Religion (1970) by Alice Von Hildebrand
  • Ὥστε ὁ ἀγαπῶν τὸν πλησίον ὡς ἑαυτὸν οὐδὲν περισσότερον κέκτηται τοῦ πλησίον·
  • How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
    I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
    My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
    For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.

    I love thee to the level of everyday's
    Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
    I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
    I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
    I love thee with the passion put to use
    In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
    I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
    With my lost saints,—I love thee with the breath,
    Smiles, tears, of all my life! —and, if God choose,
    I shall but love thee better after death.
  • Love — caritas — is an extraordinary force which leads people to opt for courageous and generous engagement in the field of justice and peace. It is a force that has its origin in God, Eternal Love and Absolute Truth. Each person finds his good by adherence to God's plan for him, in order to realize it fully: in this plan, he finds his truth, and through adherence to this truth he becomes free (cf. Jn 8:32). To defend the truth, to articulate it with humility and conviction, and to bear witness to it in life are therefore exacting and indispensable forms of charity. Charity, in fact, “rejoices in the truth” (1 Cor 13:6).
  • Only in truth does charity shine forth, only in truth can charity be authentically lived. Truth is the light that gives meaning and value to charity. That light is both the light of reason and the light of faith, through which the intellect attains to the natural and supernatural truth of charity: it grasps its meaning as gift, acceptance, and communion. Without truth, charity degenerates into sentimentality. Love becomes an empty shell, to be filled in an arbitrary way. In a culture without truth, this is the fatal risk facing love. It falls prey to contingent subjective emotions and opinions, the word “love” is abused and distorted, to the point where it comes to mean the opposite. Truth frees charity from the constraints of an emotionalism that deprives it of relational and social content, and of a fideism that deprives it of human and universal breathing-space.
  • Authentic love is obviously something good. When we love we become most fully human. But people often consider themselves loving when actually they are possessive or manipulative. People sometimes treat others as objects to satisfy their own needs. How easy it is to be deceived by the many voices in our society that advocate a permissive approach to sexuality, without regard for modesty, self-respect or the moral values that bring quality into human relationships! This is worship of a false god; instead of bringing life, it brings death.
    • Pope Benedict XVI, Disadvantaged Youth (18 July 2007) at World Youth Day 2008 in Australia
  • Love has a particular trait: it has a task or purpose to fulfill - to abide. By its nature, love is enduring. The Holy Spirit offers our world love that dispels uncertainty; love that overcomes the fear of betrayal; love that carries eternity within; the true love that draws us into a unity that abides!
    • Pope Benedict XVI, Youth Day Vigil (19 July 2007) at World Youth Day 2008 in Australia
  • Dear young people, we have seen that it is the Holy Spirit who brings about the wonderful communion of believers in Jesus Christ. True to his nature as giver and gift alike, he is even now working through you. Let unifying love be your measure; abiding love your challenge; self-giving love your mission!
    • Pope Benedict XVI, Youth Day Vigil (19 July 2007) at World Youth Day 2008 in Australia
  • A new generation of Christians is being called to help build a world in which God's gift of life is welcomed, respected and cherished-not rejected, feared as a threat and destroyed. A new age in which love is not greedy or self-seeking, but pure, faithful and genuinely free, open to others, respectful of their dignity, seeking their good, radiating joy and beauty - a new age in which hope liberates us from the shallowness, apathy and self-absorption that deaden our souls and poison our relationships.
  • Give me the love that leads the way,
    The faith that nothing can dismay,
    The hope no disappointments tire,
    The passion that will burn like fire;
    Let me not sink to be a clod:
    Make me Thy fuel, Flame of God
  • The Bible tells us to love our neighbors, and also to love our enemies; probably because they are generally the same people.
  • Is it possible to understand what God's love means for the oppressed without making wrath an essential ingredient of that love? What could love possibly mean in a racist society except the righteous condemnation of everything racist? ... A God minus wrath seems to be a God who is basically not against anything.
    • James Cone, A Black Theology of Liberation (1970), p. 73
  • Heaven's harmony is universal love.
    • William Cowper, reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 393.
  • When faith and hope fail, as they do sometimes, we must try charity, which is love in action. We must speculate no more on our duty, but simply do it. When we have done it, however blindly, perhaps Heaven will show us why.
  • Christ said: "God is Love." This is a fact. It is an experiential fact for many people. "God is energy" is equally a fact. Love - what we call love - is a great energy, a great magnetic, all pervading energy.
    • Benjamin Creme in The Reappearance of the Christ and the Masters of Wisdom (1980) p. 45
  • Love is a great impersonal energy, and released into the world by the Christ its effect is twofold...While it can and does stimulate goodwill, at the same time it can stimulate the opposite of that, which is hatred. It is essentially impersonal. All men will feel, and do feel now, this energy - the good and the bad, the altruistic and the selfish; all of us feel and react to this energy in one way or another. A tremendous intensification of these qualities is taking place and will continue. This energy of Love is the Sword of Cleavage. A great polarization will take place in humanity, between those who are ready to go forward with the Christ, into the future, on the only rational basis of sharing and co-operation for the good of all, creating right relationships; and those who are holding on to the old separatist ways, who are ready (though they would not see it in these terms, it would be the inevitable result) to plunge the world into chaos, and war - a war which now could annihilate the planet.
    • Benjamin Creme in The Reappearance of the Christ and the Masters of Wisdom (1980) p. 63
  • The incarnation of God in Christ reveals this truth, that the love that seeks and saves the lost is a love that suffers. On the one side there is loss, Gethsemane and the rugged burden of Golgotha, but on the other is gain, the gain of a world's redemption.
    • Wesley R. Davis, reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 393.
  • The mystery of the poor is this: That they are Jesus, and what you do for them you do for Him. It is the only way we have of knowing and believing in our love. The mystery of poverty is that by sharing in it, making ourselves poor in giving to others, we increase our knowledge of and belief in love.
  • We are not expecting Utopia here on this earth. But God meant things to be much easier than we have made them. A man has a natural right to food, clothing, and shelter. A certain amount of goods is necessary to lead a good life. A family needs work as well as bread. Property is proper to man. We must keep repeating these things. Eternal life begins now. "All the way to heaven is heaven, because He said, "I am the Way." The cross is there, of course, but "in the cross is joy of spirit." And love makes all things easy.
  • Love one another. My final lesson of history is the same as that of Jesus.
    You may think that's a lot of lollipop but just try it. Love is the most practical thing in the world. If you take an attitude of love toward everybody you meet, you'll eventually get along.
    • Will Durant, When asked, at the age of 92, if he could summarize the lessons of history into a single sentence. As quoted in "Durants on History from the Ages, with Love," by Pam Proctor, Parade (6 August 1978) p. 12. Durant is quoting Jesus (from John 13:34) here, and might also be quoting Jiddu Krishnamurti: "Love is the most practical thing in the world. To love, to be kind, not to be greedy, not to be ambitious, not to be influenced by people but to think for yourself — these are all very practical things, and they will bring about a practical, happy society."
  • Suppose that this paradise will never come to pass (that I understand), yet I shall go on preaching it. And yet how simple it is: in one day, in one hour everything could be arranged at once! The chief thing is to love others like yourself, that's the chief thing, and that's everything; nothing else is wanted — you will find out at once how to arrange it all. And yet it's an old truth which has been told and retold a billion times — but it has not formed part of our lives! The consciousness of life is higher than life, the knowledge of the laws of happiness is higher than happiness — that is what one must contend against. And I shall. If only everyone wants it, it can be arranged at once.
  • If you are penitent, you love. And if you love you are of God. All things are atoned for, all things are saved by love. If I, a sinner even as you are, am tender with you and have pity on you, how much more will God have pity upon you. Love is such a priceless treasure that you can redeem the whole world by it, and cleanse not only your own sins but the sins of others.
  • Brothers, have no fear of men's sin. Love a man even in his sin, for that is the semblance of Divine Love and is the highest love on earth. Love all God's creation, the whole of it and every grain of sand in it. Love every leaf, every ray of God's light. Love all God's creation, the whole of it and every grain of sand in it. Love every leaf, every ray of God's light. Love the animals, love the plants, love everything. If you love everything, you will perceive the divine mystery in things. Once you have perceived it, you will begin to comprehend it better every day, and you will come at last to love the world with an all-embracing love. Love the animals: God has given them the rudiments of thought and untroubled joy. So do not trouble it, do not harass them, do not deprive them of their joy, do not go against God's intent. Man, do not exhale yourself above the animals: they are without sin, while you in your majesty defile the earth by your appearance on it, and you leave the traces of your defilement behind you — alas, this is true of almost every one of us! Love children especially, for like the angels they too are sinless, and they live to soften and purify our hearts, and, as it were, to guide us. Woe to him who offends a child.
    My young brother asked even the birds to forgive him. It may sound absurd, but it is right none the less, for everything, like the ocean, flows and enters into contact with everything else: touch one place, and you set up a movement at the other end of the world. It may be senseless to beg forgiveness of the birds, but, then, it would be easier for the birds, and for the child, and for every animal if you were yourself more pleasant than you are now. Everything is like an ocean, I tell you. Then you would pray to the birds, too, consumed by a universal love, as though in ecstasy, and ask that they, too, should forgive your sin. Treasure this ecstasy, however absurd people may think it.
    • Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov (1879–1880), Book VI, chapter 3: "Conversations and Exhortations of Father Zossima; Of Prayer, of Love, and of Contact with other Worlds" (translated by Constance Garnett)
  • Love is no ingredient in a merely speculative faith, but it is the life and soul of a practical faith... A speculative faith consists only in the assent of the understanding, but in a saving faith there is also the consent of the heart.
  • All true morality, inward and outward, is comprehended in love, for love is the foundation of all the commandments.
    All outward morality must be built upon this basis, not on self-interest. As long as man loves something else than God, or outside God, he is not free, because he has not love. Therefore there is no inner freedom which does not manifest itself in works of love. True freedom is the government of nature in and outside man through God; freedom is essential existence unaffected by creatures. But love often begins with fear; fear is the approach to love: fear is like the awl which draws the shoemaker's thread through the leather.
  • Love is the active, working principle in all true faith. It is its very soul, without which it is dead. "Faith works by love."
    • Jonathan Edwards, Quotes reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 396
  • The hutzpah of our love is pleasing to you, O Lord, just as it pleased you that we should steal from your bounty.
  • Every man's life (and … every woman's life), awaits the hour of blossoming that makes it immortal … love is a divinity above all accidents, and guards his own with extraordinary obstinacy.
  • τὸν δεσμὸν τῆς ἀγάπης τοῦ θεοῦ τίς δύναται ἐξηγήσασθαι; τὸ μεγαλεῖον τῆς καλλονῆς αὐτοῦ τίς ἀρκετὸς ἐξειπεῖν; τὸ ὕψος, εἰς ὃ ἀνάγει ἡ ἀγάπη, ἀνεκδιήγητόν ἐστιν. ἀγάπη κολλᾷ ἡμᾶς τῷ θεῷ, ἀγάπη καλύπτει πλῆθος ἁμαρτιῶν ἀγάπη πάντα ἀνέχεται, πάντα μακροθυμεῖ· οὐδὲν βάναυσον ἐν ἀγάπῃ, οὐδὲν ὑπερήφανον· ἀγάπη σχίσμα οὐκ ἔχει, ἀγάπη οὐ στασιάζει, ἀγάπη πάντα ποιεῖ ἐν ὁμονοίᾳ· ἐν τῇ ἀγάπῃ ἐτελειώθησαν πάντες οἱ ἐκλεκτοὶ τοῦ θεοῦ, δίχα ἀγάπης οὐδὲν εὐάρεστόν ἐστιν τῷ θεῷ.
    • Who can explain the bond of God’s love? Who is able to recount the greatness of its beauty? The height to which love leads is beyond description. Love binds us to God; love hides a multitude of sins; love bears all things and endures all things. There is nothing vulgar in love, nothing haughty. Love has no schism, love creates no faction, love does all things in harmony. Everyone chosen by God has been perfected in love; apart from love nothing is pleasing to God.
  • The Son of God became incarnate to infuse into the human soul the feeling of brotherhood. All are brothers and all children of God. Abba, as he called the Father. I will show you the way, he said. Follow me and you will find the Father and you will all be his children and he will take delight in you. Agape, the love of each one of us for the other, from the closest to the furthest, is in fact the only way that Jesus has given us to find the way of salvation.
  • When love beckons to you, follow him,
    Though his ways are hard and steep.
  • All these things shall love do unto you
    that you may know the secrets of your heart,
    and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life's heart.
  • Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself. Love possesses not nor would it be possessed; For love is sufficient unto love.
  • And think not you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.
  • Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.
    But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:
    To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.
    To know the pain of too much tenderness.
    To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
    And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
    To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;
    To rest at the noon hour and meditate love's ecstasy; to return home at eventide with gratitude;
    And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips.
  • Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
    Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
    Fill each other’s cup, but drink not from one cup.
    Give one another of your bread, but eat not from the same loaf.
    Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each of you be alone,
    Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

    Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
    For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
    And stand together yet not too near together:
    For the pillars of the temple stand apart
    ,
    And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.

  • He stood up and looked at me even as the seasons might look down upon the field, and He smiled. And He said again: "All men love you for themselves. I love you for yourself.
  • Love is a sacred mystery.
    To those who love, it remains forever wordless;
    But to those who do not love, it may be but a heartless jest.
  • Yesterday we obeyed kings and bent our necks before emperors. But today we kneel only to truth, follow only beauty, and obey only love.
    • Khalil Gibran, Chapter: Children of Gods, Scions of Apes in The Vision: Reflections on the Way of the Soul (1994), Edited by Robin H. Waterfield, translated by Juan R. I. Cole
  • My Soul gave me good counsel, teaching me to love what the people abhor and to show good will toward the one they hate. It showed me that Love is a property not of the lover but of the beloved. Before my Soul taught me, Love was for me a delicate thread stretched between two adjacent pegs, but now it has been transformed into a halo; its first is its last, and its last is its first. It encompasses every being, slowly expanding to embrace all that ever will be.
    • Khalil Gibran, The Vision : Reflections on the Way of the Soul (1994) edited by Robin H. Waterfield, translated by Juan R. I. Cole
  • Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself. Love possesses not nor would it be possessed; For love is sufficient unto love.
  • The woman was made of a rib out of the side of Adam; not made out of his head to rule over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be beloved.
  • Love your neighbor, yet pull not down your hedge.
  • Of the systems above us, angelic and seraphic, we know little; but we see one law, simple, efficient, and comprehensive as that of gravitation,— the law of love,— extending its sway over the whole of God's dominions, living where He lives, embracing every moral movement in its universal authority, and producing the same harmony, where it is obeyed as we observe in the movements of nature.
    • Mark Hopkins, reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 393.
  • At the evening of life, we shall be judged on our love.
  • I have said that God is pleased with nothing but love; but before I explain this, it will be as well to set forth the grounds on which the assertion rests. All our works, and all our labours, how grand soever they may be, are nothing in the sight of God, for we can give Him nothing, neither can we by them fulfil His desire, which is the growth of our soul. As to Himself He desires nothing of this, for He has need of nothing, and so, if He is pleased with anything it is with the growth of the soul; and as there is no way in which the soul can grow but in becoming in a manner equal to Him, for this reason only is He pleased with our love. It is the property of love to place him who loves on an equality with the object of his love. Hence the soul, because of its perfect love, is called the bride of the Son of God, which signifies equality with Him. In this equality and friendship all things are common, as the Bridegroom Himself said to His disciples: I have called you friends, because all things, whatsoever I have heard of my Father, I have made known to you.
  • When the soul, then, in any degree possesses the spirit of solitary love, we must not interfere with it. We should inflict a grievous wrong upon it, and upon the Church also, if we were to occupy it, were it only for a moment, in exterior or active duties, however important they might be. When God Himself adjures all not to waken it from its love, who shall venture to do so, and be blameless? In a word, it is for this love that we are all created. Let those men of zeal, who think by their preaching and exterior works to convert the world, consider that they would be much more edifying to the Church, and more pleasing unto God — setting aside the good example they would give if they would spend at least one half their time in prayer, even though they may have not attained to the state of unitive love.
  • Love consists not in feeling great things but in having great detachment and in suffering for the Beloved.
    • John of the Cross, The Sayings of Light and Love, Dichos de Luz y Amor, as translated by Kieran Kavanaugh and Otilio Rodriguez (1991)
  • At the evening of life, we shall be judged on our love.
  • The soul that walks in love neither tires others nor grows tired
    • St. John of the Cross in Sayings of Light and Love (1581, trans. by Kieran Kavanaugh and Otilio Rodríguez, 1991), # 97.
  • The eternal fears no future, hopes for no future, but love possesses everything without ceasing, and there is no shadow of variation. As soon as he returns to himself, he understands this no more. He understands what bitter experiences have only all too unforgettably inculcated, the self-accusation, if the past has the kind of claim upon his soul that no repentance can entirely redeem, no trusting in God can entirely wipe out, but only God himself in the inexpressible silence of beatitude. The more of the past a person’s soul can still keep when he is left to himself, the more profound he is.
    • Søren Kierkegaard, Four Upbuilding Discourses, 1844 p. 338 (Eighteen Upbuilding Discourses)
  • What is it that makes a person great, admired by creation, well pleasing in the eyes of God? What is it that makes a person strong, stronger than the whole world; what is it that makes him weak, weaker than a child? What is it that makes a person unwavering, unwavering as a rock; what is it that makes him soft, softer than wax? –It is love! What is it that is older than everything? It is love. What is it that outlives everything? It is love. What is it that cannot be taken but itself takes all? It is love. What is it that cannot be given but itself gives all? It is love. What is it that perseveres when everything falls away? It is love. What is it that comforts when all comfort fails? It is love. What is it that endures when everything is changed? It is love. What is it that remains when the imperfect is abolished? It is love. What is it that witnesses when prophecy is silent? It is love. What is it that does not cease when the vision ends? It is love. What is it that sheds light when the dark saying ends? It is love. What is it that gives blessing to the abundance of the gift? It is love. What is it that gives pith to the angel’s words? It is love. What is it that makes the widow’s gift an abundance? It is love. What is it that turns the words of the simple person into wisdom? It is love. What is it that is never changed even though everything is changed? It is love; and that alone is love, that which never becomes something else. It is love!
  • What is it that is never changed even though everything is changed? It is love. And only that which never becomes something else is love, that which gives away everything and for that reason demands nothing, that which demands nothing and therefore has nothing to lose, that which blesses and blesses when it is cursed, that which loves its neighbor but whose enemy is also its neighbor, that which leaves revenge to the Lord because it takes comfort in the thought that he is even more merciful.
  • When love lives in the heart, the eye is shut and does not discover the open act of sin, to say nothing of the concealed act … When love lives in the heart, the ear is shut and does not hear what the world says, does not hear the bitterness of blasphemy, because he who says, “you fool”, to his brother is guilty before the council, but he who hears it when it is said to him is not perfect in love. … When rashness lives in the heart, a person is quick to discover the multiplicity of sin, then he understands splendidly a fragmentary utterance, hastily comprehends at a distance something scarcely enunciated. When love lives in the heart, a person understands slowly and does not hear at all words said in haste and does not understand them when repeated because he assigns them good position and a good meaning. He does not understand a long angry and insulting verbal assault, because he is waiting for one more word that will give it meaning. When fear lives in the heart, a person easily discovers the multiplicity of sin, discovers deceit and delusion and disloyalty and scheming, discovers that; Every heart is a net, Every rogue like a child, Every promise like a shadow. But the love that hides a multitude of sins is never deceived.
  • When stinginess lives in the heart, when one gives with one eye and looks with seven to see what one obtains in return one readily discovers the multiplicity of sin. But when love lives in the heart, then the eye is never deceived, because when love gives, it does not watch the gift but keeps its eye on the Lord. When envy lives in the heart, the eye has the power to elicit the impure even from the pure; but when love lives in the heart, the eye has the power to love forth the good in the impure, but his eye sees not the impure but the pure, which it loves, and loves forth by loving it. Yes, there is a power in this world that in its language translates good into evil, but there is power from above that translates evil into good-it is the love that hides a multitude of sins. … When hate lives in the heart, sin is right there at the door of a human being, and the multitude of its cravings is present to him. But when love lives in the heart, then sin flees far away and he does not even catch a glimpse of it.
  • But with love it is most joyous of all. For there is a love, that blazes up and is forgotten; there is a love that unites and divides -- a love until death. But then -- in death, in death’s decision, there is born a love that does not flame up, that is not equivocal, that is not -- until death, but beyond death, a love that endures. In this love under the pain of the wish, the sufferer is committed to the Good. Oh, you sufferer, whoever you may be, will you then with doubleness of mind seek the relief that temporal existence can give, the relief that permits you to forget your suffering (yes, so you think) but rather that allows you to forget the Eternal! Will you in doubleness of mind despair, because all is lost (yes, so you think) yet with the Eternal all is to be won! Will you in doubleness of mind despair? Have you considered what it is to despair? Alas, it is to deny that God is love! Think that over properly, one who despairs abandons himself (yes, so you think); nay, he abandons God! Oh, weary not your soul with that which is passing and with momentary relief. Grieve not your spirit with forms of comfort which this world affords. Do not in suicidal fashion murder the wish; but rather win the highest by hope, by faith, by love -- as the mightiest of all are able to do: commit yourself to the Good!
  • Every human being can come to know everything about love, just as every human being can come to know that he, like every human being, is loved by God. Some find this thought adequate for the longest life others find this thought so insignificant ...
  • Love is understanding, redemptive goodwill for all men, so that you love everybody, because God loves them. You refuse to do anything that will defeat an individual, because you have agape in your soul. And here you come to the point that you love the individual who does the evil deed, while hating the deed that the person does. This is what Jesus means when he says, "Love your enemy." This is the way to do it. When the opportunity presents itself when you can defeat your enemy, you must not do it.
  • Love is basic for the very survival of mankind. I’m convinced that love is the only absolute ultimately; love is the highest good. He who loves has somehow discovered the meaning of ultimate reality. He who hates does not know God; he who hates has no knowledge of God. Love is the supreme unifying principle of life.
  • But there is another way. And that is to organize mass non-violent resistance based on the principle of love. It seems to me that this is the only way as our eyes look to the future. As we look out across the years and across the generations, let us develop and move right here. We must discover the power of love, the power, the redemptive power of love. And when we discover that we will be able to make of this old world a new world. We will be able to make men better. Love is the only way.


  • God be thanked that there are some in the world to whose hearts the barnacles will not cling.
    • Josiah Gilbert Holland, reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 393.
  • Agape's object is always the concrete individual, not some abstraction called humanity. Love of humanity is easy because humanity does not surprise you with inconvenient demands. You never find humanity on your doorstep, stinking and begging.
    • Peter Kreeft, Fundamentals of the Faith: Essays in Christian Apologetics, II.A.30: "Love" [2]
  • Now the Spirit of Love has this Original. God, as considered in himself in his Holy Being, before any thing is brought forth by him or out of him, is only an eternal Will to all Goodness. This is the one eternal immutable God, that from Eternity to Eternity changeth not, that can be neither more nor less nor any thing else but an eternal Will to all the Goodness that is in himself, and can come from him. The Creation of ever so many Worlds or Systems of Creatures adds nothing to, nor takes any thing from this immutable God. He always was and always will be the same immutable Will to all Goodness. So that as certainly as he is the Creator, so certainly is he the Blesser of every created Thing, and can give nothing but Blessing, Goodness, and Happiness from himself because he has in himself nothing else to give. It is much more possible for the Sun to give forth Darkness, than for God to do, or be, or give forth anything but Blessing and Goodness. Now this is the Ground and Original of the Spirit of Love in the Creature; it is and must be a Will to all Goodness, and you have not the Spirit of Love till you have this Will to all Goodness at all Times and on all Occasions. You may indeed do many Works of Love and delight in them, especially at such Times as they are not inconvenient to you, or contradictory to your State or Temper or Occurrences in Life. But the Spirit of Love is not in you till it is the Spirit of your Life, till you live freely, willingly, and universally according to it. For every Spirit acts with Freedom and Universality according to what it is. It needs no command to live its own Life, or be what it is, no more than you need bid Wrath be wrathful. And therefore when Love is the Spirit of your Life, it will have the Freedom and Universality of a Spirit; it will always live and work in Love, not because of This or That, Here or There, but because the Spirit of Love can only love, wherever it is or goes or whatever is done to it. As the Sparks know no Motion but that of flying upwards, whether it be in the Darkness of the Night or in the Light of the Day, so the Spirit of Love is always in the same Course; it knows no Difference of Time, Place, or Persons, but whether it gives or forgives, bears or forbears, it is equally doing its own delightful Work, equally blessed from itself. For the Spirit of Love, wherever it is, is its own Blessing and Happiness because it is the Truth and Reality of God in the Soul, and therefore is in the same Joy of Life and is the same Good to itself, everywhere and on every Occasion.
  • Eja, Mater, fons amoris,
    me sentire vim doloris
      fac, ut tecum lugeam;
    Fac, ut ardeat cor meum
    in amando Christum Deum,
      ut sibi complaceam.
    • O Mother, fountain of love,
      make me feel the power of sorrow,
      that I may grieve with you
      Grant that my heart may burn
      in the love of Christ my Lord,
      that I may greatly please Him.
    • Stabat Mater, authorship unknown, variously attributed to Jacopone da Todi and to Pope Innocent III
  • Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. That is not our business and, in fact, it is nobody's business. What we are asked to do is to love, and this love itself will render both ourselves and our neighbors worthy if anything can.
  • To say that I am made in the image of God is to say that Love is the reason for my existence, for God is love.
    Love is my true identity. Selflessness is my true self. Love is my true character. Love is my name.
  • Persons are not known by intellect alone, not by principles alone, but only by love. It is when we love the other, the enemy, that we obtain from God the key to an understanding of who he is, and who we are. It is only this realization that can open to us the real nature of our duty, and of right action.
  • The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread.
    • Mother Teresa, Interview by Edward W. Desmond in TIME magazine (4 December 1989)
  • Spread love everywhere you go; first of all in your house. Give love to your children, to your wife or husband, to a next door neighbor. Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier.
  • Don't look for big things, just do small things with great love....The smaller the thing, the greater must be our love.
    • Mother Teresa, as quoted in Mother Teresa : Come Be My Light (2007) by Brian Kolodiejchuk
  • Abel was righteous & Noah was a preacher of righteousness & by his righteousness he was saved from the flood. Christ is called the righteous & by his righteousness we are saved & except our righteousness exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees we shall not enter into the kingdome of heaven. Righteousness is the religion of the kingdom of heaven & even the property of God himself towards man. Righteousness & Love are inseparable for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
  • He that made all things for love, by the same love keepeth them, and shall keep them without end.
  • Love was without beginning, is, and shall be without ending.
  • Peace and love are ever in us, being and working; but we be not alway in peace and in love.
  • We give our intent to love and meekness, by the working of mercy and grace we are made all fair and clean.
  • Truth seeth God, and Wisdom beholdeth God, and of these two cometh the third: that is, a holy marvellous delight in God; which is Love. Where Truth and Wisdom are verily, there is Love verily, coming of them both. And all of God’s making: for He is endless sovereign Truth, endless sovereign Wisdom, endless sovereign Love, unmade; and man’s Soul is a creature in God which hath the same properties made, and evermore it doeth that it was made for: it seeth God, it beholdeth God, and it loveth God. Whereof God enjoyeth in the creature; and the creature in God, endlessly marvelling.
    In which marvelling he seeth his God, his Lord, his Maker so high, so great, and so good, in comparison with him that is made, that scarcely the creature seemeth ought to the self. But the clarity and the clearness of Truth and Wisdom maketh him to see and to bear witness that he is made for Love, in which God endlessly keepeth him.
  • The ground of mercy is love, and the working of mercy is our keeping in love. And this was shewed in such manner that I could not have perceived of the part of mercy but as it were alone in love; that is to say, as to my sight.
  • Mercy is a sweet gracious working in love, mingled with plenteous pity: for mercy worketh in keeping us, and mercy worketh turning to us all things to good. Mercy, by love, suffereth us to fail in measure and in as much as we fail, in so much we fall; and in as much as we fall, in so much we die: for it needs must be that we die in so much as we fail of the sight and feeling of God that is our life. Our failing is dreadful, our falling is shameful, and our dying is sorrowful: but in all this the sweet eye of pity and love is lifted never off us, nor the working of mercy ceaseth.
    For I beheld the property of mercy, and I beheld the property of grace: which have two manners of working in one love.
  • Our life is all grounded and rooted in love, and without love we may not live.
  • Love and Dread are brethren, and they are rooted in us by the Goodness of our Maker, and they shall never be taken from us without end. We have of nature to love and we have of grace to love: and we have of nature to dread and we have of grace to dread.
  • All that is contrary to love and peace is of the Fiend and of his part.
  • Where I say that He abideth sorrowfully and moaning, it meaneth all the true feeling that we have in our self, in contrition and compassion, and all sorrowing and moaning that we are not oned with our Lord. And all such that is speedful, it is Christ in us. And though some of us feel it seldom, it passeth never from Christ till what time He hath brought us out of all our woe. For love suffereth never to be without pity.
  • If any such lover be in earth which is continually kept from falling, I know it not: for it was not shewed me. But this was shewed: that in falling and in rising we are ever preciously kept in one Love.
  • Charity keepeth us in Faith and Hope, and Hope leadeth us in Charity. And in the end all shall be Charity.
  • Wouldst thou learn thy Lord’s meaning in this thing? Learn it well: Love was His meaning. Who shewed it thee? Love. What shewed He thee? Love. Wherefore shewed it He? For Love. Hold thee therein and thou shalt learn and know more in the same. But thou shalt never know nor learn therein other thing without end. Thus was I learned that Love was our Lord’s meaning.
  • I saw full surely that ere God made us He loved us; which love was never slacked, nor ever shall be. And in this love He hath done all His works; and in this love He hath made all things profitable to us; and in this love our life is everlasting. In our making we had beginning; but the love wherein He made us was in Him from without beginning: in which love we have our beginning. And all this shall we see in God, without end.
  • Your God still walks in Eden, between the ancient trees,
    Where Youth and Love go wading through pools of primroses.
    And this is the sign we bring you, before the darkness fall,
    That Spring is risen, is risen again,
    That Life is risen, is risen again,
    That Love is risen, is risen again, and
    Love is Lord of all.
    • Alfred Noyes, The Lord of Misrule and Other Poems (1915), The Lord of Misrule
  • God does not love that which is already in itself worthy of love, but on the contrary, that which in itself has no worth acquires worth just by becoming the object of God's love. Agape has nothing to do with the kind of love that depends on the recognition of a valuable quality in its object. Agape does not recognize value, but creates it. Agape loves, and imparts value by loving. The man who is loved by God has no value in himself; what gives him value is precisely the fact that God loves him. Agape is a value-creating principle.
    • Anders Nygren, Agape and Eros (1930), as translated from the Swedish by P. S. Watson (1932), p. 78
  • There is no occasion to look behind our neighbor's actual condition for any hidden valuable quality that will explain and justify our love for him. God's love is explanation and sanction enough.
    • Anders Nygren, Agape and Eros (1930), as translated from the Swedish by P. S. Watson (1932), p. 99
  • God's Agape is a love that makes a mockery of all attempts at rational motivation. But if the rationalising tendency will not allow even God's love to retain spontaneity, but insists on finding a motive for it in the value of its object, then it is only to be expected that it should insist even more strongly on treating the Christian's love for his neighbour in a similar way. For Jesus, on the other hand, it is beyond question that God's love is unmotivated and spontaneous; and therefore it also also beyond question for Him that a man's love for his neighbour should be spontaneous and unmotivated. There is no occasion to look behind our neighbor's actual condition for any hidden valuable quality that will explain and justify our love for him. God's love is explanation and sanction enough.
  • Agape involves permanent stability. The loyalty enjoined is indefectible; nether partial nor fluctuating. No conditional demand for compensation is licit. To regard someone as a neighbor, on this usage, is to preclude from the outset any specific judgment which signifies that he himself is expendable. No assessment of (say) his weakness or wickedness can ever lead one to ignore him as if he were some mere thing.
    • Gene Outka, Agape: An Ethical Analysis (1972), p. 11
  • When a natural discourse paints a passion or an effect, one feels within oneself the truth of what one reads, which was there before, although one did not know it. Hence one is inclined to love him who makes us feel it, for he has not shown us his own riches, but ours. ...such community of intellect that we have with him necessarily inclines the heart to love.
  • Le cœur a ses raisons, que la raison ne connaît point. On le sent en mille choses. C'est le cœur qui sent Dieu, et non la raison. Voilà ce que c'est que la foi parfaite, Dieu sensible au cœur.
    • The heart has its reasons, which Reason does not know. We feel it in a thousand things. It is the heart which feels God, and not Reason. This, then, is perfect faith: God felt in the heart.
    • Blaise Pascal, Pensées, Section IV On the Means of the Belief (242-290), 277; The first sentence is widely quoted in English as "The heart has its reasons which reason knows not of." Also as "'The heart has its reasons, which reason does not know."
    • Variant translations:
    • The heart has its reasons, of which reason knows nothing. We find this in a thousand instances. It is the heart which feels God, and not the reasoning powers. And this is faith made perfect : — God realized by feeling in the heart.
  • Learn the new commandment of the Son of God. Not to love merely, but to love as He loved. Go forth in this spirit to your life-duties; go forth, — children of the cross, to carry every thing before you, and win victories for God by the conquering power of a love like His.
  • In proportion to the love existing among men, so will be the community of property and power. Among true and real friends, all is common; and, were ignorance and envy and superstition banished from the world, all mankind would be friends. The only perfect and genuine republic is that which comprehends every living being. Those distinctions which have been artificially set up, of nations, societies, families, and religions, are only general names, expressing the abhorrence and contempt with which men blindly consider their fellowmen.
    • Percy Bysshe Shelley, Essay on Christianity (1859), Unfinished essay (c. 1815), first published in Shelley Memorials: From Authentic Sources (1859) edited by Lady Jane Gibson Shelley; also in The Works of Shelley in Verse and Prose (1880) , edited by H. Buxton Forman. Full essay online
  • You ought to love all mankind; nay, every individual of mankind. You ought not to love the individuals of your domestic circles less, but to love those who exist beyond it more. Once make the feelings of confidence and of affection universal, and the distinctions of property and power will vanish; nor are they to be abolished without substituting something equivalent in mischief to them, until all mankind shall acknowledge an entire community of rights.
    • Percy Bysshe Shelley, Essay on Christianity (1859), Unfinished essay (c. 1815), first published in Shelley Memorials: From Authentic Sources (1859) edited by Lady Jane Gibson Shelley; also in The Works of Shelley in Verse and Prose (1880) , edited by H. Buxton Forman. Full essay online
  • But as a philosopher said, one day after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, after all the scientific and technological achievements, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And then, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.
    • Sargent Shriver, Jr., speech before the Democratic National Committee, accepting nomination as the Democratic candidate for vice president, Washington, D.C. (August 8, 1972). Transcript, The New York Times (August 9, 1972), p. 18. He was slightly paraphrasing Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, "The Evolution of Chastity", Toward the Future, trans. René Hague (1975), p. 86–87: "The day will come when, after harnessing the ether, the winds, the tides, gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And, on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire". This was written in Peking in 1934
  • For true evangelical faith...cannot lay dormant; but manifests itself in all righteousness and works of love; it...clothes the naked; feeds the hungry; consoles the afflicted; shelters the miserable; aids and consoles all the oppressed; returns good for evil; serves those that injure it; prays for those that persecute it.
  • Love in its essence is spiritual fire.
  • Love is the greatest thing that God can give us, for Himself is love; and it is the greatest thing we can give to God, for it will also give ourselves, and carry with it all that is ours.
    • Jeremy Taylor, reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 392.
  • Driven by the forces of love, the fragments of the world seek each other so that the world may come into being.
  • The truth is, indeed, that love is the threshold of another universe.
  • What paralyzes life is lack of faith and lack of audacity. The difficulty lies not in solving problems but expressing them. And so we cannot avoid this conclusion: it is biologically evident that to gain control of passion and so make it serve spirit must be a condition of progress. Sooner or later, then, the world will brush aside our incredulity and take this step : because whatever is the more true comes out into the open, and whatever is better is ultimately realized. The day will come when, after harnessing the ether, the winds, the tides, gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And, on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.
    • Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, "The Evolution of Chastity" (February 1934), as translated in Toward the Future (1975) edited by René Hague, who also suggests "space" as an alternate translation of "the ether."
    • Variants:
    • "One day after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity" — after all the scientific and technological achievements — "we shall harness for God the energies of love. And then, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire."
      • As quoted by R. Sargent Shriver, Jr. in his speech accepting the nomination as the Democratic candidate for vice president, in Washington, D. C. (8 August 1972); this has sometimes been published as if Shriver's interjection "after all the scientific and technological achievements" were part of the original statement, as in The New York Times (9 August 1972), p. 18
    • What paralyzes life is lack of faith and lack of audacity. The difficulty lies not in solving problems but identifying them.
      • As translated in The Ignatian Tradition (2009) edited by Kevin F. Burke, Eileen Burke-Sullivan and Phyllis Zagano, p. 86
    • Love is the only force which can make things one without destroying them. … Some day, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.
      • As quoted in Seed Sown : Theme and Reflections on the Sunday Lectionary Reading (1996) by Jay Cormier, p. 33
    • The day will come when, after harnessing space, the winds, the tides, gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And, on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, humanity will have discovered fire.
      • As quoted in Fire of Love : Encountering the Holy Spirit (2006) by Donald Goergen, p. 92
    • The day will come when, after harnessing space, the winds, the tides, gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And, on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.
      • As quoted in Read for the Cure (2007) by Eileen Fanning, p. v
  • God gives us love. Something to love
    He lends us; but when love is grown
    To ripeness, that on which it throve
    Falls off, and love is left alone.
  • When we do not love, we sleep, we are children of the dust — but love, and you are a god, you are pure, as on the first day of creation.
  • Love is life. All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love. Everything is, everything exists, only because I love. Everything is united by it alone. Love is God, and to die means that I, a particle of love, shall return to the general and eternal source.
  • To love life is to love God. Harder and more blessed than all else is to love this life in one's sufferings, in undeserved sufferings.
  • I have now understood that though it seems to men that they live by care for themselves, in truth it is love alone by which they live. He who has love, is in God, and God is in him, for God is love.
  • The more God's manifestation in man (life) unites with the manifestations (lives) of other beings, the more man exists. This union with the lives of other beings is accomplished through love.
    God is not love, but the more there is of love, the more man manifests God, and the more he truly exists...
  • God, from a beautiful necessity, is Love in all he doeth,
    Love, a brilliant fire, to gladden or consume
    :
    The wicked work their woe by looking upon love, and hating it:
    The righteous find their joys in yearning on its loveliness for ever.
  • I think that everything that is really good and beautiful, the inner, moral, spiritual and sublime beauty in men and their works, comes from God, and everything that is bad and evil in the works of men and in men is not from God, and God does not approve of it.
    But I cannot help thinking that the best way of knowing God is to love many things. Love this friend, this person, this thing, whatever you like, and you will be on the right road to understanding Him better, that is what I keep telling myself. But you must love with a sublime, genuine, profound sympathy, with devotion, with intelligence
    , and you must try all the time to understand Him more, better and yet more. That will lead to God, that will lead to an unshakeable faith.
  • To love our neighbour as ourselves does not mean that we should love all people equally, for I do not have an equal love for all the modes of existence of myself. Nor does it mean that we should never make them suffer, for I do not refuse to make myself suffer.
  • One of the most exquisite pleasures of human love — to serve the loved one without his knowing it — is only possible, as regards the love of God, through atheism.
    • Simone Weil, First and Last Notebooks (1970), Last Notebook (1942) p. 84
  • I observed, "Love is the fulfilling of the law, the end of the commandment." It is not only "the first and great" command, but all the commandments in one. "Whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, if there be any virtue, if there be any praise," they are all comprised in this one word, love.
    • John Wesley quoting his own earlier sermon on "The Circumsicion of the Heart" (1 January 1733) in the work A Plain Account Of Christian Perfection (Edition of 1777)
  • Breathe "God," in any tongue — it means the same;
    LOVE ABSOLUTE
    : Think, feel, absorb the thought;
    Shut out all else; until a subtle flame
    (A spark from God's creative centre caught)
    Shall permeate your being, and shall glow,
    Increasing in its splendour, till, YOU KNOW.
  • Hell is wherever Love is not, and Heaven
    Is Love's location.
    No dogmatic creed,
    No austere faith based on ignoble fear
    Can lead thee into realms of joy and peace.
    Unless the humblest creatures on the earth
    Are bettered by thy loving sympathy
    Think not to find a Paradise beyond.
  • There is no sudden entrance into Heaven.
    Slow is the ascent by the path of Love.
  • Look to the Great Eternal Cause
    And not to any man, for light.
    Look in; and learn the wrong, and right,
    From your own soul's unwritten laws.
    And when you question, or demur,
    Let Love be your Interpreter.
  • Divine the Powers that on this trio wait.
    Supreme their conquest, over Time and Fate.
    Love, Work, and Faith — these three alone are great.
  • It was in prison that we found the hope of salvation for the Communists. It was there that we developed a sense of responsibility toward them. It was in being tortured by them that we learned to love them.

IslamEdit

  • The task for which God has appointed me is that I should remove the malaise that afflicts the relationship between God and His creatures and restore the relationship of love and sincerity between them. Through the proclamation of truth and by putting an end to religious conflicts, I should bring about peace and manifest the Divine verities that have become hidden from the eyes of the world. I am called upon to demonstrate spirituality which lies buried under egoistic darkness. It is for me to demonstrate by practice, and not by words alone, the Divine powers which penetrate into a human being and are manifested through prayer or attention. Above all, it ismy task to re-establish in people’s hearts the eternal plant of the pure and shining Unity of God which is free from every impurity of polytheism, and which has now completely disappeared. All this will be accomplished, not through my power, but through the power of the Almighty God, Who is the God of heaven and earth.
  • Yes, Love indeed is light from heaven;
    A spark of that immortal fire
    With angels shared, by Allah given
    To lift from earth our low desire.
  • Are you fleeing from Love because of a single humiliation?
    What do you know of Love except the name?
    Love has a hundred forms of pride and disdain,
    and is gained by a hundred means of persuasion.
    Since Love is loyal, it purchases one who is loyal:
    it has no interest in a disloyal companion.

    The human being resembles a tree; its root is a covenant with God:
    that root must be cherished with all one's might.
    • Rumi, Jewels of Remembrance : A Daybook of Spiritual Guidance : Containing 365 Selections from the Wisdom of Rumi (1996) Translated by Camille and Kabir Helminski

JudaismEdit

  • The God who appears to me is the comforter of the poor and their avenger in world history. This avenger of the poor is the God I love. ... In the poor man I see humanity. I can't think of humanity without feeling sympathy for him, without feeling love for him. It is not the physical universe, but rather the moral universe, the social existence of mankind, that I must think and love, if my thought of God is to be called love.
    • Hermann Cohen, The Concept of Religion in the System of Philosophy (1915), p. 81
  • Nationalism is our form of incest, is our idolatry, is our insanity. "Patriotism” is its cult. It should hardly be necessary to say, that by "patriotism” I mean that attitude which puts the own nation above humanity, above the principles of truth and justice; not the loving interest in one’s own nation, which is the concern with the nation’s spiritual as much as with its material welfare — never with its power over other nations. Just as love for one individual which excludes the love for others is not love, love for one’s country which is not part of one’s love for humanity is not love, but idolatrous worship.
    • Erich Fromm, The Sane Society (1955), Ch. 3: The Human Situation, Sect. C "Rootedness — Brotherliness vs. Incest”
  • Love is an act of faith, and whoever is of little faith is also of little love.

Indian religionsEdit

See also: Kama

BuddhismEdit

 
Hatred has never stopped hatred. Only love stops hate. This is the eternal law. ~ Gautama Buddha
  • Just as a mother with her own life
    Protects her child, her only child, from harm,
    So within yourself let grow
    A boundless love for all creatures.

    Let your love flow outward through the universe,
    To its height, its depth, its broad extent,
    A limitless love, without hatred or enmity.

    Then as you stand or walk,
    Sit or lie down,
    As long as you are awake,
    Strive for this with a one-pointed mind;
    Your life will bring heaven to earth.

    • Buddha Discourse on Goodwill, From the Metta Sutta, part of the Sutta Nipata, a collection of dialogues with the Buddha said to be among the oldest parts of the Pali Buddhist canon
  • If there is love, there is hope that one may have real families, real brotherhood, real equanimity, real peace. If the love within your mind is lost and you see other beings as enemies, then no matter how much knowledge or education or material comfort you have, only suffering and confusion will ensue
  • Wars begin in the minds of men, and in those minds, love and compassion would have built the defenses of peace.
    • U Thant, "Buddhism and the Charter" in Religion and International Affairs (1968) edited by Jeffrey Rose and Michael Ignatieff, p. 114

HinduismEdit

  • Life is nothing but the expansion of love. We can cultivate divine love by entering into the Source. The Source is God, who is all Love.
  • What is love? From the spiritual and inner point of view, love is self-expansion. Human love binds and is bound. Divine Love expands, enlarges itself.
  • The whole of Asia believes in reincarnation, in being reborn in another life. When you enquire what it is that is going to be born in the next life, you come up against difficulties. What is it? Yourself? What are you? a lot of words, a lot of opinions, attachments to your possessions, to your furniture, to your conditioning. Is all that, which you call the soul, going to be reborn in the next life? Reincarnation implies that what you are today determines what you will be again in the next life. Therefore behave! — not tomorrow, but today, because what you do today you are going to pay for in the next life. People who believe in reincarnation do not bother about behavior;t all; it is just a matter of belief, which has no value. Incarnate today, afresh not in the next life! Change it now completely, change with great passion, let the mind strip itself of everything, of every conditioning, every knowledge, of everything it thinks is "right" — empty it. Then you will know what dying means; and then you will know what love is. For love is not something of the past, of thought, of culture; it is not pleasure. A mind that has understood the whole movement of thought becomes extraordinarily quiet, absolutely silent. That silence is the beginning of the new.
    • Jiddu Krishnamurti, 6th Public Talk, Saanen (28 July 1970) 'The Mechanical Activity of Thought" in The Impossible Question (1972) Part I, Ch. 6
  • Love is seeing God in the person next to us, and meditation is seeing God within us.
  • Let this be my last word, that I trust in thy love.
  • Want of love is a degree of callousness; for love is the perfection of consciousness. We do not love because we do not comprehend, or rather we do not comprehend because we do not love. For love is the ultimate meaning of everything around us. It is not a mere sentiment; it is truth; it is the joy that is at the root of all creation. It is the white light of pure consciousness that emanates from Brahma. So, to be one with this sarvānubhūh, this all-feeling being who is in the external sky, as well as in our inner soul, we must attain to that summit of consciousness, which is love: Who could have breathed or moved if the sky were not filled with joy, with love?
  • Of course man is useful to man, because his body is a marvellous machine and his mind an organ of wonderful efficiency. But he is a spirit as well, and this spirit is truly known only by love. When we define a man by the market value of the service we can expect of him, we know him imperfectly. With this limited knowledge of him it becomes easy for us to be unjust to him and to entertain feelings of triumphant self-congratulation when, on account of some cruel advantage on our side, we can get out of him much more than we have paid for. But when we know him as a spirit we know him as our own. We at once feel that cruelty to him is cruelty to ourselves, to make him small is stealing from our own humanity...
  • We never can have a true view of man unless we have a love for him. Civilisation must be judged and prized, not by the amount of power it has developed, but by how much it has evolved and given expression to, by its laws and institutions, the love of humanity. The first question and the last which it has to answer is, Whether and how far it recognises man more as a spirit than a machine? Whenever some ancient civilisation fell into decay and died, it was owing to causes which produced callousness of heart and led to the cheapening of man's worth; when either the state or some powerful group of men began to look upon the people as a mere instrument of their power; when, by compelling weaker races to slavery and trying to keep them down by every means, man struck at the foundation of his greatness, his own love of freedom and fair-play. Civilisation can never sustain itself upon cannibalism of any form. For that by which alone man is true can only be nourished by love and justice.
  • In love all the contradictions of existence merge themselves and are lost. Only in love are unity and duality not at variance. Love must be one and two at the same time.
    Only love is motion and rest in one. Our heart ever changes its place till it finds love, and then it has its rest. But this rest itself is an intense form of activity where utter quiescence and unceasing energy meet at the same point in love.
    In love, loss and gain are harmonised. In its balance-sheet, credit and debit accounts are in the same column, and gifts are added to gains. In this wonderful festival of creation, this great ceremony of self-sacrifice of God, the lover constantly gives himself up to gain himself in love. Indeed, love is what brings together and inseparably connects both the act of abandoning and that of receiving.
  • In love, at one of its poles you find the personal, and at the other the impersonal. At one you have the positive assertion — Here I am; at the other the equally strong denial — I am not. Without this ego what is love? And again, with only this ego how can love be possible?
    Bondage and liberation are not antagonistic in love. For love is most free and at the same time most bound. If God were absolutely free there would be no creation. The infinite being has assumed unto himself the mystery of finitude. And in him who is love the finite and the infinite are made one.
  • Compulsion is not indeed the final appeal to man, but joy is. And joy is everywhere; it is in the earth's green covering of grass; in the blue serenity of the sky; in the reckless exuberance of spring; in the severe abstinence of grey winter; in the living flesh that animates our bodily frame; in the perfect poise of the human figure, noble and upright; in living; in the exercise of all our powers; in the acquisition of knowledge; in fighting evils; in dying for gains we never can share. Joy is there everywhere; it is superfluous, unnecessary; nay, it very often contradicts the most peremptory behests of necessity. It exists to show that the bonds of law can only be explained by love; they are like body and soul. Joy is the realisation of the truth of oneness, the oneness of our soul with the world and of the world-soul with the supreme lover.

Mesopotamian religionsEdit

  • Once upon a time my princely sister holy Inana summoned me in her holy heart from the bright mountains, had me enter brick-built Kulaba. [...] Yet now, here in this place, my attractiveness to her has dwindled. My troops are bound to me as a cow is bound to its calf; but like a son who, hating his mother, leaves his city, my princely sister holy Inana has run away from me back to brick-built Kulaba. If she loves her city and hates me, why does she bind the city to me? If she hates the city and yet loves me, why does she bind me to the city? If the mistress removes herself from me to her holy chamber, and abandons me like an Anzud chick, then may she at least bring me home to brick-built Kulaba: on that day my spear shall be laid aside. On that day she may shatter my shield. Speak thus to my princely sister, holy Inana.

Roman religionEdit

  • There is musick, even in the beauty and the silent note which Cupid strikes, far sweeter than the sound of an instrument.
  • To Chloe's breast young Cupid slily stole,
    But he crept in at Myra's pocket-hole.
  • Venus, when her son was lost,
    Cried him up and down the coast,
    In hamlets, palaces, and parks,
    And told the truant by his marks,—
    Golden curls, and quiver, and bow.
  • Venus, thy eternal sway
    All the race of men obey.
  • Love is a lock that linketh noble minds,
    Faith is the key that shuts the spring of love.
    • Robert Greene, Alcida. Verses Written under a Carving of Cupid Blowing Bladders in the Air
  • No, not Jove
    Himselfe, at one time, can be wise and love.
  • She's the goddess of all things sweaty and sticky.
    • Arthur M. Jolly Cupid (referring to Venus) in The Waiting Room of the Gods (2009)
  • Cupid and my Campaspe play'd
    At cards for kisses; Cupid paid;
    He stakes his quiver, bow and arrows,
    His mother's doves, and team of sparrows;
    Loses them too; then down he throws
    The coral of his lip,—the rose
    Growing on 's cheek (but none knows how)
    With these, the crystal on his brow,
    And then the dimple of his chin;
    All these did my Campaspe win.
    At last he set her both his eyes,
    She won, and Cupid blind did rise.
    O Love! hath she done this to thee?
    What shall, alas! become of me?
    • John Lyly, Alexander and Campaspe, Act III, scene VI. Song
  • Otia si tollas, periere cupidinis arcus.
    If you give up your quiet life, the bow of Cupid will lose its power.
    • Ovid, Remedia Amoris, CXXXIX
  • Jupiter ex alto perjuria ridet amantum.
    Jupiter from on high laughs at the perjuries of lovers.
    • Ovid, Ars Amatoria, Book I. 633
  • My merry, merry, merry roundelay
    Concludes with Cupid's curse,
    They that do change old love for new,
    Pray gods, they change for worse!
  • Love seldom haunts the breast where learning lies,
    And Venus sets ere Mercury can rise.
    • Alexander Pope, "The Wife of Bath her Prologue, from Chaucer" (c.1704, published 1713), line 369
  • Cupid "the little greatest god."
  • Qui que tu sois, voici ton maître;
    Il l'est—le fut—ou le doit être.
    Whoe'er thou art, thy master see;
    He was—or is—or is to be.
    • Voltaire, Works, II, p. 765 (Ed. 1837). Used as an inscription for a statue of Cupid

TheosophyEdit

  • A heart warmed by love will emanate the most beautiful power of attraction... A selfish person condemns himself to dreadful loneliness and complete oblivion. Happiness is in giving love; and happier is the one who loves rather than the one who is loved. When this truth is realized, all happiness will materialize. Therefore, learn how to love, become accustomed to love everything beautiful, and develop active compassion toward everything that is not yet perfect. Be kind and polite to your subordinates, as such is the privilege and beauty of a lord of spirit!
  • People have forgotten, or rather do not want to admit, the great cosmic significance of love. The materialism of our age puts love on the level of a purely physiological function. At best, love today is treated as a psychological process. But if the cosmic significance of love could be realized once more, people would see in love its highest function, i.e., the awakening of all the highest emotions and creative abilities. Precisely, this awakening is the chief purpose and the true keynote of love. Love is a unifying creative power.
  • I am sending all my love and support in this difficult time of the struggles of the spirit. You are surrounded by constant care. Do not doubt it. Every pupil is dear to the Teacher. Every movement of your heart echoes to the Great Heart. Not always can the projected rays reach our physical consciousness; but every minute they dispel and annihilate so many hostile sparks around you.
  • Love can create universes.
    Love and Wisdom are equal.
    • Agni Yoga, Leaves of Morya’s Garden I, 28. (1924)
  • Regarding the various qualities of love, let us note the love that holds back and the love that impels forward. Essentially, the first type is earthly, while the second is heavenly. What a multitude of creations have been destroyed by the first, and what a similar number have been winged on by the second! The first is aware of all the limitations of space and consciousness, but the second has no need to measure things by earthly standards.
  • Let us accept love as the motive force in the expansion of consciousness. The heart will not be aflame without love; it will not be invincible, nor will it be self-sacrificing. So let us bring gratitude to every receptacle of love, for love lies on the border of the New World, where hatred and intolerance have been abolished. The path of love unfolds with the intensity of cosmic energy.

General viewsEdit

  • Greatness is a spiritual condition worthy to excite love, interest, and admiration; and the outward proof of possessing greatness is that we excite love, interest, and admiration.
  • Sad hours and glad hours, and all hours, pass over;
    One thing unshaken stays:
    Life, that hath Death for spouse, hath Chance for lover;
    Whereby decays
      Each thing save one thing: — mid this strife diurnal
    Of hourly change begot,
    Love that is God-born, bides as God eternal,
    And changes not; —

    Nor means a tinseled dream pursuing lovers
    Find altered by-and-bye,
    When, with possession, time anon discovers
    Trapped dreams must die, —
    For he that visions God, of mankind gathers
    One manlike trait alone,
    And reverently imputes to Him a father's
    Love for his son.

    • James Branch Cabell, The Certain Hour (1916), "To Robert Gamble Cabell II: In Dedication of The Certain Hour"
  • Love is the force that transforms and improves the Soul of the World. … It is we who nourish the Soul of the World, and the world we live in will be either better or worse, depending on whether we become better or worse. And that's where the power of love comes in. Because when we love, we always strive to become better than we are.
  • The gods throw the dice, and they don't ask whether we want to be in the game or not. They don't care if when you go, you leave behind a lover, a home, a career, or a dream. The gods don't care whether you have it all, whether it seems that your every desire can be met through hard work and persistence. The gods don't want to know about your plans and your hopes. Somewhere they're throwing the dice — and you are chosen. From then on, winning or losing is only a question of luck.
    The gods throw the dice, freeing love from its cage. And love can create or destroy — depending on the direction of the wind when it is set free.
  • "There are only four questions of value in life, Don Octavio: What is sacred? Of what is spirit made? What is worth living for? What is worth dying for? The answer to each is only love."
  • God, Whose hand holds stars, as we lump earth
    In our fingers, give us power, give us light
    To hold all love within our breast's small space.
    • Philip José Farmer, Sestina of the Space Rocket (1953), first published in Startling Stories (February 1953); re-published in Pearls From Peoria (2006)
  • The heart unites whatever the mind separates, pushes on beyond the arena of necessity and transmutes the struggle into love.
  • Love is the cheapest of religions.
  • True love's the gift which God has given
    To man alone beneath the heaven.
    It is the secret sympathy,
    The silver link, the silken tie,
    Which heart to heart, and mind to mind,
    In body and in soul can bind.
  • There are three lessons I would write, —
    Three words — as with a burning pen,
    In tracings of eternal light
    Upon the hearts of men.

    Have Hope. Though clouds environ now,
    And gladness hides her face in scorn,
    Put thou the shadow from thy brow, —
    No night but hath its morn.

    Have Faith. Where'er thy bark is driven, —
    The calm's disport, the tempest's mirth, —
    Know this: God rules the hosts of heaven,
    The habitants of earth.

    Have Love. Not love alone for one,
    But men, as man, thy brothers call;
    And scatter, like the circling sun,
    Thy charities on all.

    Thus grave these lessons on thy soul, —
    Hope, Faith, and Love, — and thou shalt find
    Strength when life's surges rudest roll,
    Light when thou else wert blind.

    • Friedrich Schiller, Hope, Faith, and Love (c. 1786); also known as "The Words of Strength", as translated in The Common School Journal Vol. IX (1847) edited by Horace Mann, p. 386
  • Let your love flow out on all living things. These words at some level have the quality of a strapping homily. Nonetheless, they are remarkably beautiful, strung together in their honest lump-like English syllables... Let your love flow out on all living things.
    But there are a couple of problems with this precept of mine. The first is, of course, that it is not mine. It springs from the universe and is the property of God, and the words have been intercepted — on the wing, so to speak — by such mediators as Lao-tzu, Jesus, Gautama Buddha and thousands upon thousands of lesser prophets, including your narrator, who heard the terrible truth of their drumming somewhere between Baltimore and Wilmington and set them down with the fury of a madman sculpting in stone.
  • Consciousness (conscientia) is participated knowledge, is co-feeling, and co-feeling is com-passion. Love personalizes all that it loves. Only by personalizing it can we fall in love with an idea. And when love is so great and so vital, so strong and so overflowing, that it loves everything, then it personalizes everything and discovers that the total All, that the Universe, is also a person possessing a Consciousness, a Consciousness which in its turn suffers, pities, and loves, and therefore is consciousness. And this Consciousness of the Universe, which a love, personalizing all that it loves, discovers, is what we call God.
  • If there is any thing that keeps the mind open to angel visits, and repels the ministry of ill, it is human love.
    • Nathaniel Parker Willis, reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 394.
  • Humble love,
    And not proud reason, keeps the door of heaven;
    Love finds admission, where proud science fails.
    • Edward Young, reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 392.
  • Just let your love flow like a mountain stream
    And let your love grow.
  • There is no more powerful motivation than to feel we’re being used in the creation of a world where love has healed all wounds. We are no longer ambitious for ourselves, but are rather inspired by the vision of a healed world.
  • If we wait for the world’s permission to shine, we will never receive it. The ego doesn’t give that permission. Only God does, and He has already done so. He has sent you here as His personal representative and is asking you to channel His love into the world. Are you waiting for a more important job? There isn’t one.
    • Marianne Williamson in A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of "A Course in Miracles" (1992) Ch. 7
  • Love is so simple and spiritual. It is not related to social status, age, or even sexual identity.

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit