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28. The Effects of Love

1. Love seeks either to possess what is loved or to bestow benefit upon it. In either case, love seeks to be united with its object, in fact or in affection. Hence union with the beloved thing is an effect of love.

2. Another effect of love is that lover and beloved dwell in each other in some manner. The lover says, "I have you in my heart," or "This project is close to my heart." And, speaking of the love of God, scripture says (I John 4:16): "He that abideth in charity, abideth in God, and God in him." Thus a kind of mutual indwelling of lover and beloved is an effect of love.

3. Sometimes love is so intense that the lover is said to be "carried away" or "raised out of himself." This effect of love is called ecstasy.

4. Another effect of love is zeal. In its good meaning, zeal is steady ardor in loving. In one evil meaning, zeal is an unreasonable and intemperate ardor for making other people love something; this zeal is called zealotry. In another evil meaning, zeal is an inordinate ardor for exclusive possession of the object of love, and an unreasonable effort to block out others from loving it; this zeal is called jealousy. Zealous and jealous are, in root, the same word. Zealotry and jealousy are effects of misdirected and disordered love.

5. Love in itself is a perfecting and preserving force. But in its material aspects and elements, love may sometimes induce excessive and hurtful change in the lover.

6. Love is appetite for good; good defines end; all things act to an end. Therefore, all things act from love of one kind or another.

"There is nothing which gives greater security to our actions, or more effectually cuts the snares the devil lays for us, than to follow another person’s will, rather than our own, in doing good."
St Philip Neri

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"If you wish to learn and appreciate something worth while, then love to be unknown and considered as nothing. Truly to know and despise self is the best and most perfect counsel."
Thomas á Kempis

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"Obedience is the true holocaust which we sacrifice to God on the altar of our hearts."
St Philip Neri

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