Love’s Kindness, Love’s Negatives, and Love’s Supremacy


If you have the ability to read this out loud with others, it may be best comprehended in that format. : )

Love’s Kindness, Love’s Negatives, and Love’s Supremacy

Paul, having shown love to be the supreme essential, the underlying vital of all conceivable life—for God has built all things on love—now reveals two cardinal virtues of love: “Love SUFFERETH LONG and is KIND.” It is most remarkable that suffering is the quality of love put first; as if the Christian path must be a path of suffering, and its first great victory is that, in suffering, it loves: and it continues kind, which is love in action—the word denotes a disposition to put oneself at the disposal of others. Love is the ocean into which sparks of fire fall, only to be instantly quenched; not perhaps without slightly raising the temperature of the water, yet at once absorbed in its all-receptive kindness. “Love suffereth”: for the greater our love, the larger the surface we expose to heart-broken sorrow: love involves a Calvary.

Paul next passes to Love’s NEGATIVES. Every great engine is made exact in its movements, checked from errors and miscarriage, and has all its power controlled and directed by a regulator. Paul now reveals Love as a sevenfold restrainer and regulator of our life. Love closes seven doors, one after another: on envy; boastfulness; conceit; rudeness; selfishness; temper; censoriousness (to be very critical).

…the more we love others, the less we love ourselves. Like a lantern let down into a dark well, the lower we drop the lantern into our own heart, the more we learn how narrow are the walls and how black the waters.

All heaven is wrapped up in love, for love is the nature and home of God; and our coming perfection, lessens the need and diminishes the intensity of other graces. The reverse curiously enforces the truth: faith-infidelity; hope-despair; love-hate. These three, but the blackest is hate. Love is the greatest, because it is the oldest: Love can say: “Before faith and hope were, I am”, for before the worlds were, I was. Love is the greatest, because faith and hope permanently witness to our limitations—faith to our dependence, hope to our lack; but love is purely positive. Love is the greatest, because faith is not a goal, but a road to salvation; hope is not a goal, but a road to joy; but love is a goal, not a road—for God is love. Love is the greatest, because faith and hope acquire blessings, Love gives them. Love is the greatest, because faith and hope are creature virtues, love is the essence of the Creator.

(D.M. Panton)
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