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On Loving

There is no virtue in being loved; there is in loving. But it is not necessary that those we love should love us; for if our love is pure and unselfish it would not expect to be returned. Love is strength, and if we cannot love and reverence the character of a friend without expecting his or her love in return, we thus show that our love is weak and selfish.

How narrow and selfish must that love be which cannot continue unrequited! and how divine is that love which is content to dwell, with ever-increasing tenderness and reverence, upon the virtues and qualities of the character which, in its heart of hearts, it secretly worships without a thought of obtaining a return. When we have attained to this height we have understood and comprehended love, and life will never again be sad or lonely, for we have found a Garden of Love within our hearts to which we may retire and rest whenever the trials of life threaten to become greater than we can bear. And though we may feel that we shall never attain to this Divine Ideal of unselfish Love, let us not despair, for what today deems impossible, tomorrow may see an established fact.

Therefore let the mind be of good cheer, and never turn back from its noble resolve; but let the heart remember that the sun of love shall one day rise in all its purity and light, and the Kingdom of Heaven be revealed within it.

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J. Caspar Alston

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