Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone – we find it with another.
- Thomas Merton, Love and Living
We all have a wonderful gift which we alone can give. The greatest gift you can give to another is the purity of your love. We all have immense capacity for love, and it costs nothing. It may be a heartfelt smile to people around us, our family, our colleagues. It may be kindness shown to a frustrated youth, help to a poor and hungry soul, consolation to an aggrieved man, love and affection to an orphan child, or medical aid to a serious patient. A bright face, a little appreciation and sympathy, a ready hand and a kind encouraging voice — they send a fellow traveller on her way refreshed, strengthened and comforted. Don’t we all want a reason for being born, and a way that is worthwhile to spend our time on this earth? There is no second chance. Now is the time. There are countless people who contribute to improving others’ quality of life and whose small deeds of kindness instill courage and hope for those in anguish. It. “To love someone” says Fyodor Dostoevsky, “means to see him as God intended him.”
One of the greatest tragedies of modern man is the alienation and abandonment that haunt him. This is an ailment which no hospital can treat, no medicine can heal, no surgery can cure; neither the ancient wisdom of the East nor the modern science of the West has an answer for this. Kindness and love are not about giving away money or buying expensive gifts, When you give of your possessions, you give little. When you give of yourself, you give all. Without the individual who offers bread to the hungry, who cares for the sick, who brings help to the refugees, all assistance is devoid of soul. Loving your brother or sister means more than feeling properly disposed toward them. Loving your neighbour means having your hands dirtied, your knees callused and your back bent in trying to see that your brother and sister have enough to eat, a place to sleep, adequate healthcare, and a shelter that gives proper protection.
Attention is the most basic form of love. By paying attention we let ourselves be touched by life, and our hearts naturally become more open and engaged. There is no greater teacher of morals than love itself, for the first lesson that one learns from love is, “I am not, you are.” The marvelous thing about love is that once the unhappy person feels that somebody cares about him he is often able to begin caring more about others. Love liberates love: it is as direct and miraculous as that. Love is a golden coin, a highly precious thing which can work magic. Learn to pay it graciously and gladly, and the dividends will come pouring back to you. The love that transcends love is a love that liberates. It brings both fullness and mindfulness. We therefore have to teach our consciousness and our hearts to love in the absolute of the moment and in full awareness of time. The finest love transcends separation, longing and death.