What deserves to hold the first place among the fruits of the Spirit if not love? Without love other virtues are not reckoned to be virtues. From love is born all that is good.

Jerome, Epistle to the Galatians
Grace must find expression in life, otherwise it is not grace.
Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics
Perfection, in a Christian sense, means becoming mature enough to give ourselves to others.
Kathleen Norris, Amazing Grace
Delight in love is the gift of God, God loving in us. It is not something we can grit our teeth and do, nor is it a possession that, once we have it, makes us good or acceptable. Once we truly understand the connection between love and grace, the wall of legalism that holds us prisoner can be knocked down.
Roberta Bondi, To Love As God Loves
What is humility? It is that habitual quality whereby we live in the truth of things: the truth that we are creatures and not the Creator; the truth that our life is a composite of good and evil, light and darkness; the truth that in our littleness we have been given extravagant dignity. … Humility is saying a radical "yes" to the human condition.
Robert F. Morneau, Humility
Peace of heart that is won by refusing to bear the common yoke of human sympathy is a peace unworthy of a Christian. To seek tranquility by stopping our ears to the cries of human pain is to make ourselves not Christian but a kind of degenerate stoic having no relation either to stoicism or Christianity. … True peace comes not by a retreat from the world but by the overpowering presence of Christ in the heart. "Christ in you" is the answer to our cry for peace.
A. W. Tozer, The Next Chapter After the Last
Pride asserts, humility testifies. The proud want to seem what they are not. The one who gives testimony does not want to appear what he is not but to love what, in the full sense, is.
Augustine, Explaining the Psalms
It is hard to make your adversaries real people unless you recognize yourself in them—in which case, if you don't watch out, they cease to be adversaries.
Flannery O'Connor, The Habit of Being
The command "be ye perfect"" is not idealistic gas. Nor is it a command to do the impossible. He is going to make us into creatures that can obey that command.
C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
Forgiveness is the economy of the heart. … Forgiveness saves the expense of anger, the cost of hatred, the waste of spirits.
Hannah More, "Christianity: A Practical Principle," in Practical Piety
How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these.
George Washington Carver, quoted in A.Word.A.Day
Bestow on me, o Lord, a genial spirit and unwearied forbearance; a mild, loving, patient heart; kindly looks; pleasant, cordial speech and manners in the exchanges of daily life; that I may give offense to none, but insofar as I can, may live in charity with everyone.
Johann Arndt, True Christianity
Related Elsewhere

Past Reflections columns include:

  • Beauty, Prayer and Loving God (Aug. 1, 2000)
  • Prayer, Silence and Other Topics (June 31, 2000)
  • Getting, Giving, and Generosity (June 13,2000).
  • Easter Sunday (Apr. 3, 2000)
  • Good Friday (Apr. 3, 2000)
  • Friendships (Mar. 6, 2000)
  • Gratitude: Take One (Feb. 7, 2000)
  • God Will Prevail (Oct. 25, 1999)
  • The Might of a Dandelion (Oct. 4, 1999)
  • Losing Touch with God (Sept. 6,1999)
  • Real Joy (Aug. 9, 1999)
  • Prayer for Today (Mar. 1, 1999)

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