Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote impassioned love poems to her husband Robert Browning. We are familiar with Alfred Lord Tennyson's famous line, "Tis better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all. The beautiful love song Home by Philip Philips in is the only recording to ever make the top ten three times in one year. Love makes the world go round! Loving someone and being loved brings happiness. There are many loves in one's life, such as your spouse or sweetheart, your parents, your family and children, or your best friend.
We all want and need love. This is essential to the human race.
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We need to help each other, cooperate with each other, and reaffirm each other. Mystery and a kind of mysticism surround love. Why do people fall in love? The heart is the seat of the emotions, one of the three spiritual centers of the person, along with the intellect and the will. God is important to your love relationship! Love of God grows as you mature in life. We become grateful for all his gifts, such as the beauty of creation and our family.
And we become especially grateful for his forgiveness when we fall. His gifts to us are so plentiful that it becomes only fair and natural that we love him. We begin to appreciate that "God is love. We are the happiest when we are living in harmony with God and nature. Someone who loves God will strive to be good, honest, and faithful, and develop all the values necessary to sustain a love relationship through the years.
Loving God means you are both trying to live His way and that you are being fair and true to each other. The Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard stresses this important point in Works of Love : "Worldly wisdom thinks that love is a relationship between man and woman. Christianity teaches that love is a relationship between man-God-woman , that is, that God is the middle term.
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When a relationship is only between two, one always has the upper hand in the relationship by being able to break it, for as soon as one has broken away, the relationship is broken. But when there are three, one person cannot do this. The third, as mentioned, is love itself, which the innocent sufferer can hold to in the break, and then the break has no power over him.
The existentialist Kierkegaard described love as uniting the temporal with the eternal. This is best understood when you lose someone you love, such as your mother or father. Even though your loved one has died and is no longer with you on earth, your love lives on for the one you cherish. In true love between a man and woman, there is an evolution from attraction and desire to a feeling of good will towards the other person.
A healthy integration of sensuality, sentiment, and loving kindness takes place, so that one looks at the other with love, and treasures the other person. Chastity is important, for each person moderates desire and sexuality to allow friendship, tenderness, and a spiritual bond to grow. If you truly love someone, you feel responsible for them. Love finds its natural and proper expression in the union of two persons. Respect for the dignity of the beloved is given in union through marriage. Both man and woman affirm each other, until a commitment of the will and union through marriage takes place, a self-surrender of each for the other.
Lewis in his book The Four Loves describes four kinds of human love: affection, romantic love, friendship, and the love of God. Storge , or affection, is the natural love a parent has for a child. Eros , or romantic love, is the desire two have for each other. Plato considered eros something like poetic rapture upon seeing the beauty of another. Eros is the longing for the beauty and company of the beloved when two persons fall in love. This is in contrast to someone who has sexual desire without being in love, who wants to use the other strictly for selfish pleasure.
A utilitarian relationship, in which the sexual partner becomes an object for use, holds no long-term possibility for joy, fulfillment, or happiness, but rather leaves one empty, disappointed, and ultimately alone.
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Philia is the love of friendship, but may have conditions. It gives, but may expect something equal in return.
Agape is true, unconditional love, a generosity of spirit which gives and expects nothing in return. It is the love that God has for us. It is love at the highest level. The more true love there is between a man and a woman, or among family and friends, the more successful the relationship. It burns with blazing flame, a raging fire.
Torrents of rain cannot quench love; nor floods sweep it away. Song of Songs Love is patient, love is 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. First Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to take a wife for himself in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like heathen who do not know God. Paul to the Thessalonians Peter Marriage is the institution of our Creator and blessed in the ceremony of our Churches to realize God's design for love.
Even hell itself is purified and added to the earth; and in this enlarged world where there will be no more ice and no more mountains men are to be immortal and to live for ever united with their families and relations but without further offspring in pure and peaceful bliss.
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The ideal of the earliest Zarathushtrian prophets of salvation was much more sober and ethical and consisted in the triumphant supremacy of the good God over all men an ideal more closely approaching the expectations of the prophets of Israel of which the first preaching of the Gospel formed the fulfilment.
But alongside of these representations of a future state of bliss on earth there often occur in the same religion others of a different character which however rather supplement than exclude them and which relate to the fate of men after death. I cite these examples only because they relate to the peoples whose belief in a regeneration of mankind I have already mentioned. But there are thousands of other forms which the belief in immortality assumes and which it would be impossible even to name at present. Suffice it to say that it occurs everywhere and among all peoples whatever be their stage of progress and wherever it has not been as yet undermined by any philosophic doubts or thrust into the background by other causes and that in every case it is found in connection with religion.
It may possibly have sprung up independently and quite apart from religious motives a matter which we cannot now investigate ; it seems certain however that it did not spring from the sentiment of man's relationship with God but that both have the same origin while the belief in immortality once brought into connection with religion usually takes the form of a union with the deity or at least of an entrance into the world of the gods and a participation in their society.
This is most apparent in the Egyptian religion in which this very doctrine is elaborated with special predilection. That this view was practically universal we learn from the worship of the dead of which we have already spoken. We meet with both types almost everywhere. And as soon as more advanced moral sentiment asserts itself and the idea of retribution has been combined with that of a future existence the lower world once the destination of almost all the dead is converted into a place of punishment and torment while heavenly bliss is awarded to the pious alone.
But poetic imagination could not rest satisfied until it had found a more concrete form for this religious conception. Now as experience progress in self-knowledge and the development of mortal consciousness gradually beget and confirm in man the conviction that he answers but poorly to his high lineage and destiny and as on the other hand religious thought gradually creates a loftier conception of the Deity the gulf between the two ever widens and it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain the former root-idea without prejudicing the latter.
And he accordingly fills up the gulf with all kinds of intermediate beings. On earth he fills it with persons of specially religious character with prophets priests teachers leaders and reformers whom his imagination glorifies and to whom he often ascribes supernatural holiness. But while the first of these classes consists of men more gifted than their fellows or raised above them by divine consecration and unction or possessed of extraordinary knowledge yet they are not one with God nor have they as a rule a definite divine origin assigned to them.
The second order of beings on the other hand is not human but superhuman. In these orders the lower divine and the higher human come very nearly into contact so that the gulf is to some extent filled up although not entirely closed. This can only be accomplished by the conception of a being who partakes of both natures alike who is at once God and man a true son of God and true son of man. By means of such a bold flight of imagination the conflicting natures are reconciled the heterogeneous elements coalesce in a unity.
The belief in Mediators between the divine world and the human who belong to both alike is a very general one and is manifested in many different forms. And often they are actual historical personages glorified and afterwards deified by a grateful posterity.
The history of most of these personages consists so largely if not entirely of myths chiefly myths of the sun-gods adapted to them that it has even been doubted whether they ever existed at all. But such an inference is unwarrantable. Once they were raised to the rank of gods or adorable beings the actual memorials of their lives so far as they still existed would thenceforth be of little use or would at least seem inadequate and had therefore to be replaced or supplemented by miraculous tales.
That such tales borrowed mostly from the Mithras legend were transferred to Christ also chiefly in the apocryphal Gospels and the Golden Legend will not be denied even by those who are disposed to accept as pure history the whole of the narrative of the canonical Gospels. It is however certain that the dogma of the Son of God true God and true man which attained its highest mystic expression in the dogma of the Trinity has been throughout long ages one of the chief corner-stones of the creed of the great majority of Christians however different their religious views might be in other respects.
Although unable to withstand the searching scrutiny of sober rational logic owing to the from a purely rationalistic standpoint irreconcilable contradiction of the two terms which compose the expression God-man this dogma has ever been cherished by all the Christian churches as a religious truth and one of the most important of all.