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Saturday, June 12, 2010

What Is This Thing Called Love?

(The Birthday by Marc Chagall, 1887-1985, Russian-
French artist)

“What is this thing called love?” asked Cole Porter. “Just who can solve its mystery?”

We can always look to Shakespeare.


Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixéd mark
That looks on tempests, and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks.
But bears it out ev’n to the edge of doom: ─
If this be error, and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

Note in this sonnet the echoes of sentiments found in one of the most beautiful passages in the New Testament, Paul’s first letter to the Christians in Corinth, Greece, around the middle of the first century A.D.

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

And if I have a prophetic power, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends; as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophecy is imperfect; but when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I gave up childish ways.

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood. So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

1 comment:

Barbara Sullivan Mangogna said...

Love ia sn act of endlessly forgiving -- which becomes a habit. We have nothing if we have no love, no laughter.