Love is the only bow on life’s dark cloud.
It is the Morning and the Evening Star.
It shines upon the cradle of the babe, and sheds its radiance upon the quiet tomb.

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It is the mother of Art, inspirer of poet, patriot, and philosopher.
It is the air and light of every heart, builder of every home, kindler of every fire on every hearth.
It was the first to dream of immortality.
It fills the world with melody, for Music is the voice of Love.

Love is the magician, the enchanter, that changes worthless things to joy, and makes right royal kings and queens of common clay.

It is the perfume of the wondrous flower — the heart and without that sacred passion, that divine swoon, we are less than beasts; but with it, earth is heaven and we are gods.
– Robert G. Ingersoll

Love, like truth and beauty, is concrete. Love is not fundamentally a sweet feeling; not, at heart, a matter of sentiment, attachment, or being ‘drawn toward.’ Love is active, effective, a matter of making reciprocal and mutually beneficial relation with one’s friends and enemies.

Love creates righteousness, or justice, here on earth. To make love is to make justice. As advocates and activists for justice know, loving involves struggle, resistance, risk.

People working today on behalf of women, blacks, lesbians and gay men, the aging, the poor in this country and elsewhere know that making justice is not a warm, fuzzy experience.

I think also that sexual lovers and good friends know that the most compelling relationships demand hard work, patience, and a willingness to endure tensions and anxiety in creating mutually empowering bonds.

For this reason loving involves commitment. We are not automatic lovers of self, others, world, or God. Love does not just happen. We are not love machines, puppets on the strings of a deity called ‘love.’

Love is a choice — not simply, or necessarily, a rational choice, but rather a willingness to be present to others without pretense or guile.

Love is a conversion to humanity — a willingness to participate with others in the healing of a broken world and broken lives. Love is the choice to experience life as a member of the human family, a partner in the dance of life, rather than as an alien in the world or as a deity above the world, aloof and apart from human flesh.
– Carter Heyward

It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.
– Friedrich Nietzsche

Image Credit: Alfred Hermida