Love your neighbor… and in doing so, do it as you love yourself! Take up the loads that will cause your neighbor a neck pain; don’t put a heavy cross over his/her neck!
Therefore, dear Sir, love your solitude and try to sing out with the pain it causes you. For those who are near you are far away... and this shows that the space around you is beginning to grow vast.... be happy about your growth, in which of course you can't take anyone with you, and be gentle with those who stay behind; be confident and calm in front of them and don't torment them with your doubts and don't frighten them with your faith or joy, which they wouldn't be able to comprehend. Seek out some simple and true feeling of what you have in common with them, which doesn't necessarily have to alter when you yourself change again and again; when you see them, love life in a form that is not your own and be indulgent toward those who are growing old, who are afraid of the aloneness that you trust.... and don't expect any understanding; but believe in a love that is being stored up for you like an inheritance, and have faith that in this love there is a strength and a blessing so large that you can travel as far as you wish without having to step outside it.
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'The first command was clear and absolute, unalterable and unchanging. But there was a loophole in the second--wiggle room if we do not love ourselves. So at dinner Jesus tightened the loop, closed the hole:'A new command I give you, that you love one another as I have loved you.
Do I Love You"I stand in the night and stare up at a lone star, wondering what love means. You whisper your desire—do I love you? I dare say yes. But my eyes drift back to that solitary star; my mind is plagued with intimate uncertainty. What art thou, Love? Tell me.I contemplate what I know—the qualities that love doth not possess. Love lifts no cruel or unkind hand, for it seeketh no harm. It shirks from constraints and demands, for tyranny is not love. A boisterous voice never crosses love's lips, for to speak with thunder chases its very presence from the heart. Love inflicts no pain, no fear, no misery, but conquers all such foes. It is said that love is not selfish, yet it does not guilt those who are. On a heart unwillingly given it stakes no claim. Love is nothing from Pandora's box; it is no evil, sin, or sorrow unleashed on this world. My eyes glimmer as the star I gaze upon twinkles with brightness that I do not possess. I recognize my smallness—my ignorance of the One whose hands placed that star in the heavens for me.He is love. By His own mouth He proclaimed it.Again the whispered question hits my ear—do I love you? I dare say yes. But my eyes squint tight, wishing on a lonely star, wondering what love means.
Say it.""Don't do this to me..." I whispered painfully. "We can't do this again.""You're a horrible liar," Eli growled as he pressed his fingers into my thighs. He watched me, his gaze all-consuming, and said, "Your eyes are as dark as a castle moat by midnight, mi cielo. Lower your drawbridge and let me cross; let me in.""Eli, I-""Forget him. For the next hour and a half, you're going to do everything that makes you wonder in this world. And then I'm going to love you again.
I want to write something so simply about love or about pain that even as you are reading you feel it and as you read you keep feeling it and though it be my story it will be common, though it be singular it will be known to you so that by the end you will think—no, you will realize—that it was all the while yourself arranging the words, that it was all the time words that you yourself, out of your heart had been saying.
Love SorrowLove sorrow. She is yours now, and you musttake care of what has beengiven. Brush her hair, help herinto her little coat, hold her hand,especially when crossing a street. For, think,what if you should lose her? Then you would besorrow yourself; her drawn face, her sleeplessnesswould be yours. Take care, touchher forehead that she feel herself not soutterly alone. And smile, that she does notaltogether forget the world before the lesson.Have patience in abundance. And do notever lie or ever leave her even for a momentby herself, which is to say, possibly, again,abandoned. She is strange, mute, difficult,sometimes unmanageable but, remember, she is a child.And amazing things can happen. And you may see,as the two of you gowalking together in the morning light, howlittle by little she relaxes; she looks about her;she begins to grow.
Jesus tells us: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’ (Mk 12:31). How can we love our neighbor if we can’t or won’t love ourselves, at least a little? When we hold ourselves to unrealistic standards, that perfectionist attitude can’t help but trickle down. It becomes harder to have compassion for others if we have no compassion for ourselves.
When your heart is gripped by the love of God poured out in the cross, and when you see the extent of that love in the propitiation by which Christ became the sacrifice for your sin, bearing wrath and entering hell for you, and when you are convinced that this Christ offers Himself in redeeming love to others who do not yet know Him, a passion will be lit in your heart to pursue a God-centered life.