LOVE IN THE BIBLE
Entreat me not to leave you or to return from following you; for where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God, where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. [Ruth 1:15-17]
But do not be afraid, for she was set apart for you before the world existed. You will save her, and she will go with you. [Tobit 6:18]
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you.
Love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres, love never fails.
[1 Corinthians 13:4-8]
Upon my bed by night I sought him whom my soul loves. I sought him, but found him not; I called him but he gave no answer.
"I will rise now and go about the city, in the streets and in the squares; I will seek him whom my soul loves.” I sought him, but found him not.
The watch men found me, as they went about in the city. "Have you seen him whom my soul loves?” Scarcely had I passed them, when I found him whom my soul loves.
I held him, and would not let him go until I had brought him into my mother's house, and into the chamber of her that conceived me.
I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles or hinds of the field, that you stir not up nor awaken love until it please.
[Song of Songs 3]
THE WORLD’S FIRST LOVE by ARCHBISHOP FULTON SHEEN
You exist for me absolutely, quite independent of my personal relations with you and beyond anything you could do for me. I adore you as a reflection of the Divinity, which can never be taken from me. And I have no need to possess in order that you have existence for me.
In real love, two hearts do not meet in sweet slavery to one another; rather there is the melting of two hearts into one. When death comes, there is not just a separation of two hearts but rather the rending of the one heart. …if she could have wept, it would have been a release from the tension; but here the only tears were red, in the hidden garden of her heart.
ST. JOHN OF THE CROSS
On that happy night, in secret I went forth, beheld by none, and seeing naught; having no light nor guide excepting that which burned within my heart, which lit my way more safely than the glare of noon-day sun to where, expectant, he waited for me who doth know me well, where none appeared but he.
When the breeze blew from the turret, as I parted his hair, it wounded my neck with its gentle hand, suspending all my senses. I abandoned and forgot myself, laying my face on my Beloved; all things ceased; I went out from myself, leaving my cares forgotten among the lilies.
How gently and lovingly you wake in my heart, where in secret you dwell alone; and in your sweet breathing, filled with good and glory, how tenderly you swell my heart with love.
Why, since you wounded this heart, don't you heal it? And why, since you stole it from me, do you leave it so, and fail to carry off what you have stolen?
Reveal your presence, and may the vision of your beauty be my death, for the sickness of love is not cured except by your very presence and image.
He weeps, but not from the wound of love, there is no pain in such affliction, even though the heart is pierced; he weeps in knowing he’s been forgotten.
POPE JOHN PAUL II ON LOVE
The fullest, the most uncompromising form of love consists precisely in self-giving, in making one’s inalienable and non-transferable “I” someone else’s property.
Love consists of a commitment which limits one’s freedom--it is a giving of the self. And to give oneself means just that; to limit one’s freedom on behalf of another. Limitation of one’s freedom might seem to be something negative and unpleasant, but love makes it a positive, joyful, and creative thing. Freedom exists for the sake of love… Man longs for love more than for freedom--freedom is the means and love the end.
First there is the term hesed, which indicates a profound attitude of goodness. When this is established between two individuals, they do not just wish each other well; they are also faithful to each other by virtue of an interior commitment, and therefore also by virtue of a faithfulness to themselves. …it showed itself as what it was in the beginning, that is, as love that gives, love more powerful than betrayal, grace stronger than sin. ~Rich in Mercy
Every movement of your heart is known to me. Know, my daughter, that one glance of yours directed at someone else would wound me more than many sins committed by another person.
~Diary of St. Faustina Kowalska
And love does admittedly run counter to self-seeking--it is an exodus out of oneself, and yet this is precisely the way in which man comes to himself.
~Pope Benedict XVI
True love is love that causes us pain, that hurts, and yet brings us joy. That is why we must pray to God and ask Him to give us the courage to love.