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A Few Favorite Quotes on Love

November 17, 2010

When I was in, I think 4th grade, I was assigned a reading for a school Mass. I practiced it so much (and liked it so much) that I memorized it. In fact, I liked it so much even years later that I convinced John to have it as one of the readings for our wedding!

“Because you are God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with heartfelt mercy, with kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another; forgive whatever grievances you have against one another. Forgive as the Lord has forgiven you. Over all these virtues put on love, which binds the rest together and makes them perfect. Christ’s peace must reign in your hearts, since as members of the one body you have been called to that peace. Dedicate yourselves to thankfulness. Let the word of Christ, rich as it is, dwell in you. In wisdom made perfect, instruct and admonish one another. Sing gratefully to God from your hearts in psalms, hymns, and inspired songs. Whatever you do, whether in speech or in action, do it in the name of the Lord Jesus. Give thanks to God the Father through him.” (Colossians 3:12-17)

When I read Pope Benedict’s Encyclical on Hope (Spe Salvi) a few years ago, this quote particularly jumped out at me. What a great, but challenging concept for the jadedness of our modern world…

“We can try to limit suffering, to fight against it, but we cannot eliminate it. It is when we attempt to avoid suffering by withdrawing from anything that might involve hurt, when we try to spare ourselves the effort and pain of pursuing truth, love, and goodness, that we drift into a life of emptiness, in which there may be almost no pain, but the dark sensation of meaninglessness and abandonment is all the greater. It is not by sidestepping or fleeing from suffering that we are healed, but rather by our capacity for accepting it, maturing through it, and finding meaning through union with Christ, who suffered with infinite love.” (Pope Benedict, Spe Salvi)

This also reminds me of something (I don’t have it in front of me at the moment) from Hans Urs Von Balthasar’s Does Jesus Know Us? Do We Know Him? in which he explains that Jesus wasn’t some sort of super-stoic (not the word he used), but experienced the joys and sorrows of life more intensely because He is God.

And finally, perhaps my favorite quote ever on love, hope and living the Christian life. This is also from Pope Benedict (when he was still Cardinal Ratzinger)…

“To have Christian hope means to know about evil and yet to go to meet the future with confidence. The core of faith rests upon accepting being loved by God, and therefore to believe is to say Yes, not only to him, but to creation, to creatures, above all, to men, to try to see the image of God in each person and thereby to become a lover. That’s not easy, but the basic Yes, the conviction that God has created men, that he stands behind them, that they aren’t simply negative, gives love a reference point that enables it to ground hope on the basis of faith.” (Cardinal Ratzinger, Salt of the Earth)


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