To Love Perfectly

“Thou dost demand our love, holy Lord Christ,

And batest nothing of thy modesty;—

Thou know’st no other way to bliss the highest

Than loving thee, the loving, perfectly.

Thou lovest perfectly—that is thy bliss:

We must love like thee, or our being miss—

So, to love perfectly, love perfect Love, love thee.”

“Here is my heart, O Christ; thou know’st I love thee.

But wretched is the thing I call my love.

O Love divine, rise up in me and move me—

I follow surely when thou first dost move.

To love the perfect love, is primal, mere

Necessity; and he who holds life dear,

Must love thee every hope and heart above.”

George MacDonald, The Diary of an Old Soul


Love is Life

“But love is life. To die of love is then

The only pass to higher life than this.

All love is death to loving, living men;

All deaths are leaps across clefts to the abyss.

Our life is the broken current, Lord, of thine,

Flashing from morn to morn with conscious shine—

Then first by willing death self-made, then life divine.”

Excerpt From

A Book of Strife in the Form of The Diary of an Old Soul

George MacDonald

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Victor Hugo, on Love

You can give without loving, but you can never love without giving. The great acts of love are done by those who are habitually performing small acts of kindness. We pardon to the extent that we love. Love is knowing that even when you are alone, you will never be lonely again. The great happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved. Loved for ourselves. & even loved in spite of ourselves.

– Victor Hugo, Les Misérables

To Love is to Be Vulnerable

To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.

—C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

What is Love

Love is the best thing: the Love of God is the highest thing; we cannot be right until we love God, therefore we cannot do right—I mean thoroughly right—until we love God. But God knows this better than we do, and he is always teaching us to love him. He wants us to love him, not because he loves himself, but because it is the only wise, good and joyous thing for us to love him who made us and is most lovely….So you need not be troubled about it darling Elfie. All you have to do & that is plenty is to go on doing what you know to be right, to keep your heart turned to God for him to lead you, & to read & try to understand the story of Jesus. A thousand other things will come in from God to help you if you do thus.

I am very very glad you asked me my child. Ask me anything you like, and I will try to answer you—if I know the answer. For this is one of the most important things I have to do in the world.

— George MacDonald, from a letter to his daughter