With Valentine’s Day coming up, you’re already seeing plenty of posts of love this month. So instead of writing my own take, which I’ve touched on before, here are a few of my favorite passages about love, which I hope you’ll take time to meditate on and thoughtfully consider.
By C. S. Lewis:
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”
Are you avoiding the difficulty of loving someone by getting wrapped up in activities and commitments? In those hard moments when loving costs, and poses a risk when we open ourselves to it, let’s put aside distractions and take the risk.
By Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, 22nd World Youth Day (2007):
“My dear young friends, I want to invite you to ‘dare to love.’ Do not desire anything less for your life than a love that is strong and beautiful and that is capable of making the whole of your existence a joyful undertaking of giving yourselves as a gift to God and your brothers and sisters, in imitation of the One who vanquished hatred and death forever through love.
Love is the only force capable of changing the heart of the human person and of all humanity, by making fruitful the relations between men and women, between rich and poor, between cultures and civilizations”
Are we joyful in loving? Do we lower our standards or just get by? Let’s remember that Jesus conquered death and sin through love. We too can change the world through our witness.
By Fr. Jacques Philippe, excerpt from Interior Freedom:
“Love needs space to grow and flourish… the special ‘environment’ it needs is made up of hope. If love does not grow or turns cold, very often that’s because it is stifled by cares, fears, worries, or discouragement. Jesus told St. Faustina: ‘The greatest obstacles to holiness are discouragement and worry’ . . . discouragement is what ruins souls . . . so the best treatment is to discover the root of discouragement and learn again to look at that particular aspect of one’s life with the eyes of hope.”
Are you discouraged in your efforts to love your family, friends, or neighbor? If so, what can you do to cultivate a more hopeful environment for love to grow in? Let’s remain in hope and start each day new in our efforts to love.
By Fulton Sheen, excerpt from The Power of Love:
“The Divine Command was not like thy neighbor but love thy neighbor, because it is hard to like certain kinds of people, such as those who step on our toes or make funny noises when they drink soup. When there is no spontaneous love, love begins only as a duty. But as we learn to write by writing, to cook by cooking, to be courteous by practicing kindliness, so we learn to love by loving. The I ought after a while passes to I love.”
Do you want to get better at loving people? Let’s make it a habit to ask God to to help us move beyond obligation into free and total self-giving love.
If you’d like to read more about love this month, hop over to what our other contributors have written:
5 Quotes About Love from Saints by Caitlyn