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Journey of Love, page five
The Apostle Paul
from 1 Corinthians 13

And now I will show you the most excellent way.

If I speak in the tongues of men and angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.  If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.  If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails.  But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.  For we know in part and we prophecy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. . . .

And now these three remain:  faith, hope, and love.  But the greatest of these is love.



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Love is never abstract.  It does not adhere to the universe of the planet
or the nation or the institution or the profession, but to the singular sparrows
of the street, the lilies of the field, "the least of these my brethren."  Love is not,
by its own desire, heroic.  It is heroic only when compelled to be.
It exists by its willingness to be anonymous, humble, and unrewarded.

Wendell Berry