The first love

“You can’t know how much I loved [them]!”

“Dear sister – all other love is merely a reflection of the heavens in the puddles of a muddy road. You will become sullied too if you allow yourself to sink into it. But if you always remember that it’s a reflection of the light from that other home, then you will rejoice at its beauty and take good care that you do not destroy it by churning up the mire at the bottom…

…You cannot settle for anything less than the love that is between God and the soul.”

Sigrid Undset, Kristin Lavransdatter, pp 151 and 156.

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The true meaning of being ‘in the flow’

“The University of Chicago psychologist Mihaly Csiksgentmihalyi wrote a book entitled ‘Flow’ in which he presented the findings of years of intensive research into what makes people happy. What he found is that people are content when they are “in the flow,” that is to say, when they have forgotten about themselves and have become lost in an activity, a person, a game. And they are discontented when, either through under stimulation or through fear they lose the flow and fall back onto themselves. None of this should be surprising to us. We have been arguing throughout this book that our souls become sick when they fall out of similitude with God and that they are doctored precisely when they begin to resemble the divine. What Augustine and Thomas say, quite simply, is that God is always in the flow, that he is a constant rhythm of self-forgetting love. And what they imply is that we find our joy inasmuch as we imitate the divine dance.”

Robert Barron, ‘And Now I see: A Theology of Transformation’ (p 186)

On understanding the secret ingredient to love

“To Karol Wojtyla, love is not something that is given to couples or something that “happens” to them. Rather, it is a task, thrown to them by God. The measure of their love is not the intensity of their emotions or attractions but rather the degree to which they feel responsible for one another. In his words, “When a man and a woman are united by true love, each one takes on the destiny, the future of the other, as his or her own. Thus, only when love is virtuous does it deserve to be called love.”

Jason Evert, ‘Saint John Paul the Great: His Five Loves’ (p 106)

How to manage a challenging friendship

‘Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.’

Colossians 3:12-14

 

A hymn to flood your heart with love and peace

Jesus, Thy boundless love to me.
No thought can reach, no tongue declare.
Unite my thankful heart to Thee,
And reign without arrival there!
Thine wholly, Thine alone I am;
Be Thou alone my constant flame.

O grant that nothing in my soul
May dwell, but Thy pure love alone;
O, may Thy love possess me whole
My joy, my treasure, and my crown!
All coldness from my heart remove;
My every act, word, thought be love.

This love unwearied I pursue,
And dauntlessly to Thee aspire.
O may Thy love my hope renew,
Burn in my soul like heavenly fire!
And day and night, be all my care
To guard this sacred treasure there.

In suff’ring be Thy love my peace,
In weakness be Thy love my pow’r;
And when the storms of life shall cease,
O Jesus in that final hour,
Be Thou my rod and staff and guide,
And draw me safely to thy side.

Hymn ‘Jesus, Thy Boundless Love to Me’ (LSB 683)