For there is one thing I can safely say: that those bound by love must obey each other if they are to keep company long. Love will not be constrained by mastery; when mastery comes, the God of love at once beats his wings, and farewell -- he is gone. Love is a thing as free as any spirit; women naturally desire liberty, and not to be constrained like slaves; and so do men, if I shall tell the truth.
See who is the most patient in love; he has the greatest advantage. Patience is surely a great virtue, for it vanquished, as these scholars say, things that rigor would never manage. One cannot scold or complain at every word. Learn to endure patiently, or else, as I live and breathe, you shall learn it whether you want or not. For certainly there is no one in the world who doesn't do or say something amiss. Anger, sickness, or planetary influences, wine, sorrow, or changing of disposition often causes one to do or speak amiss. One cannot be avenged for every wrong; according to the occasion, everyone who knows how, must use temperance. And therefore a wise man, in order to live in comfort, promises his lady forbearance, and she wisely gives her promise to him.
Love is the only bow on life's dark cloud.
It is the Morning and the Evening Star.
It shines upon the cradle of the babe,
and sheds its radiance upon the quiet tomb.
It is the mother of Art,
inspirer of poet, patriot, and philosopher.
It is the air and light of every heart, builder of every home,
kindler of every fire on every hearth.
It was the first to dream of immortality.
It fills the world with melody,
for Music is the voice of Love.
Love is the magician, the enchanter,
that changes worthless things to joy,
and makes right royal kings and queens of common clay.
It is the perfume of the wondrous flower -- the heart
and without that sacred passion, that divine swoon,
we are less than beasts;
but with it, earth is heaven
and we are gods.
Robert G. Ingersoll
Love, like truth and beauty, is concrete. Love is not fundamentally a sweet feeling; not, at heart, a matter of sentiment, attachment, or being 'drawn toward.' Love is active, effective, a matter of making reciprocal and mutually beneficial relation with one's friends and enemies.
Love creates righteousness, or justice, here on earth. To make love is to make justice. As advocates and activists for justice know, loving involves struggle, resistance, risk. People working today on behalf of women, blacks, lesbians and gay men, the aging, the poor in this country and elsewhere know that making justice is not a warm, fuzzy experience. I think also that sexual lovers and good friends know that the most compelling relationships demand hard work, patience, and a willingness to endure tensions and anxiety in creating mutually empowering bonds.
For this reason loving involves commitment. We are not automatic lovers of self, others, world, or God. Love does not just happen. We are not love machines, puppets on the strings of a deity called 'love.' Love is a choice -- not simply, or necessarily, a rational choice, but rather a willingness to be present to others without pretense or guile. Love is a conversion to humanity -- a willingness to participate with others in the healing of a broken world and broken lives. Love is the choice to experience life as a member of the human family, a partner in the dance of life, rather than as an alien in the world or as a deity above the world, aloof and apart from human flesh.
Abraham Joshua Heschel