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Remember Augustine's dictum, amor meus, pondus meum. "My love is a weight, a gravitational force." As one loves temporal things, one gains an illusory substantiality and a selfhood which gravitates "downward," that is to say acquires a need for things lower in the scale of being than itself. It depends on these things for its own self-affirmation. In the end this gravitational pull becomes an enslavement to material and temporal cares, and finally to sin. Yet this weight itself is an illusion, a result of the "puffing up" of pride, a "swelling" without reality. The self that appears to be weighed down by its love and carried away to material things is, in fact, an unreal thing. Yet it retains an empirical existence of its own: it is what we think of as ourselves. Thomas Merton (1915)
If ever two were one, then surly we.
As ever man is loved by God, then truly me.
For one human being to love another human being: that is perhaps the most difficult task that has been entrusted to us, the ultimate task, the final test and proof, the work for which all other work is merely preparation. Rainer Maria Rilke (1875)
He who loves God cannot endeavor that God should love him in return. Baruch Spinoza (1632)
Thus I was taught that love is our lord's meaning. And I saw most surely in this and in all, that before God made us he loved us, which love was never slaked nor ever shall be. And in this love he has done all his works, and in this love he has made all things profitable to us, and in this love our life is everlasting. In our creation we had beginning, but the love in which he made us was in him from without beginning. In this love we have our beginning, and all this shall we see in God without end. Dame Julian Of Norwich (1342)
When the next step comes, you do not take the step, you do not know the transition, you do not fall into anything. You do not go anywhere, and so you do not know the way by which you got there or the way by which you come back afterwards. You are certainly not lost. You do not fly. There is no space, or there is all space: it makes no difference. The next step is not a step. You are not transported from one degree to another. What happens is that the separate entity that was you suddenly disappears and nothing is left but a pure freedom indistinguishable from infinite Freedom, love identified with love. Not two loves, one waiting for the other, striving for the other, seeking for the other, but Love Loving in Freedom. Thomas Merton (1915)
To become attached to the experience of peace is to threaten the true and essential and vital union of our soul with God above sense and experience in the darkness of a pure and perfect love. Thomas Merton (1915)
My servant does not cease to come near Me until I love him; and when I love him, I am the sight he sees with and the hearing he hears with and the hand he receives with and the foot he walks with. Muhammed (570)
So hath God by rational methods enabled us to love others better than ourselves, and thereby made us the most glorious creatures. Had we not loved ourselves at all, we could never have been obliged to love anything. So that self-love is the basis of all love. But when we do love ourselves, and self-love is satisfied infinitely in all its desires and possible demands, then it is easily led to regard the Benefactor more than itself, and for His sake overflows abundantly to all others. So that God by satisfying my self-love, hath enabled and engaged me to love others. Thomas Traherne (1637)
By the accident of good fortune a man may rule the world for a time. But by virtue of love he may rule the world for ever. Lao Tse (604 B.C.E.)
When thou art gone forth wholly from the creature, and from that which is visible, and art become nothing to all that is nature and creature, then thou art in that Eternal One which is God himself: And then thou shalt perceive and feel in thy interior the highest virtue of love. . . Whosoever finds it, finds all things'. Jacob Boehme (1575)
Those for whom the world smells only of matter, smell themselves only; those that see nothing but passing phenomena, see themselves and no deeper. Not in contemplation of the stars that wheel across the sky shall we discover Thee, O God, Thou who didst enrich with madness Don Quixote! The discovery comes by watching, from the depths of our hearts, the soaring of love's aspirations. Love is the fairest and most profitable guest that a reasonable creature can entertain. To God it is the most acceptable and pleasing of all things. Not only does it comfort the spirit with sweetness and wisdom, and make her one with God, but it doth so constrain flesh and blood that a man slip never into the snare of trivial beguilements. In the light and warmth of love our life grows strong and comely; a better dwelling, nor a sweeter, never I found. Richard Rolle (1290)
Never was anything in this world loved too much, but many things have been loved in a false way, and all in too short a measure. Thomas Traherne (1637)
Love between human beings springs from a desire to be made free of another world than one's own; every true communion of lovers is a mutual discovery and recognition: every passion is a passion for release, for that loss of one's self by which alone one gains life. Gerald Bullett (1893)
Many are avidly seeking, but they alone find who remain in silence... Those who delight in a multitude of words, even though they say admirable things, are empty within. If you love truth, be a lover of silence. Silence like the sunlight will illuminate you in God and will deliver you from the phantoms of ignorance. Silence will unite your soul to God. Isaac Of Nineveh
You do not see God. Love and you possess him... for God offers himself to us at once. Love me, he cries to us, and you shall possess me. You cannot love me without possessing me. St. Augustine Of Hippo (354)
Thus holiness is life in its fullness. And there is holiness in each human being who participates vigorously in life. There is holiness not only in the great ascetic but in the creator of beauty, in the seeker after truth who heeds the mystery of creation, both living and inanimate, in the deep love of a man and a woman, in the mother who knows how to console her child and how to bring it to spiritual birth. Oliver Clement (1921)
The highest good can only be beheld by those who are very pure in spirit, and can only be tasted when the passions are as they should be. This is why St. Augustine prays: O Lord, let me taste in my will what I know in my mind, and feel through love what I grasp through awareness. Saint Bonaventure (1221)
God calls the heart and makes it exult; then he disappears; and then he reveals himself again. By the test of renunciation and a more lively 'feeling' of God, a person escapes gradually from the attacks of evil: light penetrates and protects his or her nature more and more. But God refuses to provide an overwhelming proof of his presence. If he did he would actually be destroying the very possibility of a meeting and the free offer of his love. God introduces the soul that has been made holy to a rhythm of alternate ecstasy and ecstasy, of contentment and of a yearning for an irreducible otherness, so that the soul does not cease to renew its love and spread itself in the inexhaustible store of God's riches. Oliver Clement (1921)
Keep my secret, you who are kept by it.
Keep my faith, you who are kept by it.
Learn what I know, you whom my truth has known.
Love me with love, you whom I have loved.
Pray without ceasing, dwell in the love of the Lord,
you who are loved in the Well-beloved,
you who are living in the Living one,
saved by him who has redeemed you.
So will you escape from death, throughout all ages,
in the name of your Father. Alleluia!
Odes Of Solomon (390)
Three brothers were in the habit of going to see the blessed Anthony every year. The first two would ask him questions about their thoughts and the salvation of the soul. But the third would keep silence without asking anything. Eventually Abba Anthony said to him, 'You have been coming here to see me for a long time now and you never ask me any questions.' The other replied, 'One thing is enough for me, Father, to see you.' Desert Fathers (400)
Only love overcomes the fragmentation of human nature. Maximus The Confessor (580)
All of us who are human beings are in the image of God. But to be in his likeness belongs only to those who by great love have attached their freedom to God. Diadochus Of Photike (400)
Happiness does not come into being when you seek it; it is a byproduct; it comes into being when there is goodness, when there is love, when there is no ambition, when the mind is quietly seeking out what is true. J. Krishnamurti (1895)
Love is, dying every day. Love is not memory; love is not thought. Love is not a thing that continues as duration in time. And, through observation, one must die to the continuity of everything. There is love; and with love, there comes creation. J. Krishnamurti (1895)
"Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting. The soul that rises with us, our life's star, Hath had elsewhere its setting. And cometh from afar; Not in entire forgetfulness, And not in utter nakedness, But trailing clouds of glory do we come From God, who is our home."- William Wordsworth
"Origen says the soul's quest of God comes by self-observation. If she knew herself she would know God also. "- Meister Eckhart
"He who knows others is wise; He who knows himself is enlightened. "- Lao Tse
"Therefore, if God's essence is to be seen at all, it must be that the intellect sees it through the divine essence itself; so that in that vision the divine essence is both the object and the medium of vision. "- Thomas Aquinas
"Give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way. "- American Indian
""Is there anything that I can do to make myself enlightened?" "As little as you can do to make the sun rise in the morning." "Then of what use are the spiritual exercises you prescribe?" "To make sure you are not asleep when the sun begins to rise." "- Anthony De Mello
"If you persist in trying to attain what is never attained (It is Tao's Gift!), If you persist in making effort to obtain what effort cannot get, If you persist in reasoning about what cannot be understood, You will be destroyed by the very thing you seek. To know when to stop, To know when you can get no further by your own action, This is the right beginning! "- Lao Tse
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