I don’t like half the people I love.—Paul Thorn
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Today is the fourth Sunday of Advent. The fourth candle stands for Love. And love is the greatest. Love makes the world go round. It’s all you need. It’s a many-splendored thing.
Love is a lovely word. It’s divine. It resounds in poems, prayers, and promises.
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Love is the whole thing. We are only pieces. Rumi
Life is the flower for which love is the honey. Victor Hugo
Where there is great love, there are always miracles. Willa Cather
Love is patient. Love is kind. Love never ends. So now faith, hope, and love abide. These three—but the greatest of these is love. The Apostle Paul, I Corinthians 13
It’s no secret. Love is the greatest.
I agree. You agree. We all agree.
And then out of the blue someone says: I don’t like half the people I love.
I laugh. You laugh. We all laugh.
And then we realize it’s not only funny, it’s true. We don’t like half (or at least some) of the people we love. And that, surprisingly, is admirable. Or can be.
For love is more than affection or romance. Love is more than a powerful feeling. After all, we are urged to love.
Love your neighbor (and adversaries) as you love yourself.
To love those we don’t like requires determination and practice. And to love ourselves requires the same. Love of self comes naturally for many, but not for all.
Love isn’t something natural. Rather it requires discipline, concentration, patience, faith, and the overcoming of narcissism. It isn’t a feeling, it’s a practice. Eric Fromm, The Art of Loving
Yes, love is a many-splendored thing. But it’s not complicated.
Love is caring for the well-being of another no matter our feelings.
Love is as love does. Love is an act of will—both an intention and an action. We do not have to love. We choose to love. bell hooks
And one more thing: Love isn’t only personal. It’s political. As Martin Luther King said: The social expression of love is justice. Working to make the world more just for those we don’t naturally like, is a noble form of love.
So keep loving the people you don’t like. That’s what love does.
See Paula’s photo on the home page. Posted December 5.