You shall love your crooked neighbor
with all your crooked heart.
“As I Walked Out One Evening” in Another Time, Random House, 1940.
Augustine of Hippo
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.
Love seeketh not Itself to please, Nor for itself hath any care; But for another gives its ease, And builds a Heaven in Hell’s despair. So sung a little Clod of Clay, Trodden with the cattle’s feet; But a Pebble of the brook, Warbled out these metres meet Love seeketh only self to please, To bind another to Its delight, Joys in another’s loss of ease, And builds a Hell in Heaven’s despite.
Where love is the compelling power, there is no sense of strain or conflict or bondage in doing what is right: the man or woman who is compelled by Jesus’ love and empowered by His Spirit does the will of God from the heart.
We can throw our pebble in the pond and be confident that its ever widening circle will reach around the world. We repeat, there is nothing we can do but love, and, dear God, please enlarge our hearts to love each other, to love our neighbor, to love our enemy as our friend.
“Love Is the Measure,” Catholic Worker, June 2, 1946.
Alain De Botton
True love is a lack of desire to check one’s smartphone in another’s presence.
Is life not full of opportunities for learning love? Every man and woman every day has a thousand of them. The world is not a playground; it is a schoolroom. Life is not a holiday, but an education. And the one eternal lesson for us all is how better we can love.
To love means to open ourselves to suffering. Shall we shut our doors to love, then, and be “safe”?
Our bond, which you resent, consists in mutual love, for we know not how to hate; we call ourselves ‘brethren’ to which you object, as members of one family in God, as partners in one faith, as joint heirs in hope. You do not acknowledge one another, amid outbursts of mutual hate; you recognize no tie of brotherhood, except indeed for fratricidal murder.
If I’m only willing to love the people who are nice to me, the ones who see things the way I do, and avoid all the rest, it’s like reading every other page of the Bible and thinking I know what it says.
The power of love is in the sacrifice and commitment it requires. Sacrifice and commitment always travel with love and action. Love looks like showing up with hands to help even when we don’t know what to do. Love looks like stopping by even if we don’t know what to say. Simply put, love doesn’t just think about it; love does it.
Love ever gives,
And ever stands with open hands,
And while it lives it gives.
For this is love’s prerogative,
To give – and give – and give.
Jesus reassures us that every effort to love ourselves and others more faithfully, however imperfectly we are able to do this, is a response to God’s call to love as he loved. It is a response to the two greatest commandments as they stand in relationship to one another.
Fred (Mr). Rogers
Love isn’t a state of perfect caring. it is an active noun like struggle. to love someone is to strive to accept that person exactly the way he or she is, right here and now.
The World According To Mister Rogers: Important Things To Remember, Hyperion, 2003.
We should always remember that love is the highest gift of God. All of our revelations and gifts are little things compared to love…. Settle in your heart that from this moment on you will aim at nothing more than that love described in 1 Corinthians 13. You can go no higher than this.