Human's Love for God.
Bhakti. Bhakti-yoga.

The birthright of all mankind is to love and follow God. Limitations arise from erroneous human beliefs. Teachings of Babaji, P.39.

The Tao gives birth to all beings, nourishes them, maintains them, cares for them, comforts them, protects them, takes them back to itself, creating without possessing, acting without expecting, guiding without interfering. That is why love of the Tao is in the very nature of things. Tao te Ching 51, quoted after Novak Philip, The World's Wisdom, P.149.

Man's highest perfection is union with God in consummate love, a destiny so high, so pure in itself, and so far beyond human thought that it cannot be known or imagined as it really is. The Book of Privy Counseling, P.169.

God makes the rivers to flow. They tire not, nor do they cease from flowing. May the river of my life flows into the sea of love that is the Lord. May I overcome my impediments in my course. May the thread of my song be not cut before my life merges in the sea of love. Guard me against all danger, O Lord. Accept me graciously, O King of Kings. Release me from my sorrows, which hold me as ropes hold a calf. I cannot open my eyes without the power of your love. Guard us against the grief that haunts the life of the selfish. Lead us from darkness into light. We will sing of your love as it was sung of old. Your laws change not, but stand like mountains. Forgive me all the mistakes I have committed. Many mornings will dawn upon as again. Guide us through them all, O Lord of love. Rig Veda, II, 28:4-9

Too late have I loved You, O Beauty so ancient, O Beauty so new, too late have I loved you! (...) You have sent forth Your fragrance, and I have drawn my breath and pant after You. I have tasted You, and hunger and thirst; You have touched me, and I am all inflamed with desire of Your peace. St. Augustine, Confessions, X.27

I cannot measure out my love, so as to know what is yet lacking in it to make it enough; that so my life may run to Your embrace, and never turn away until it is hidden in the secret place of Your face. This only I know, that it is never well with me except when I am with You - not only without but within myself also - and all abundance which is not my God, to me is only poverty. St. Augustine, Confessions, XIII.8

Not with a doubting but with a sure consciousness, O Lord, I love You. You have wounded my heart with Your word, and I fell in love with You. Moreover, both heaven and earth and all things that are in them, behold, on every side cry out to me that I should love You, (...) St. Augustine, Confessions, X.6

I praise you, for you fill me with awe; wonderful you are, and wonderful your works. Ps 139:14

What has a man gained if he closed both his eyes and sat in concentration like a crane (looking for fish)? What if he bathed at all the holy spots over the seven seas? He has lost this world and the other too. If instead he lived in sin, he wasted his life and got nothing for it. Let everybody listen to me carefully, the truth is that only he who has loved (God and His Creation) has found God. Shri Guru Granth Sahib

..nothing created would trouble me or concern me; you alone would speak to me, as a lover does to his beloved, as a friend makes cheer with his friend. Thomas A Kempis, Imitations of Christ, IV.13.1

There is nothing sweeter than love, nothing stronger, nothing higher, nothing wider, nothing fuller, nothing better in heaven or earth; for love is born of God, and only in God, above all that he has created, can it find rest. Thomas A Kempis, ibid., III.5.3

A shadow's shadow, a world of shadows (Eccl. 1:2) - nothing matters except loving God and giving him all your loyalty. Thomas A Kempis, ibid., I.1.3

You are indeed my sweetheart. Among ten thousands you shall know him (Eccl. 7:28), in you my soul delights to make her home all the days of my life. Thomas A Kempis, IV.13.2

This is the way, and this is the order, which must be followed. In the first place, we fall at the feet of the Lord, and lament before Him who has made us, the faults and sins which we ourselves have committed. In the second, we seek His helping hand to lift us up, and to strengthen our feeble knees that we may stand upright. In the third, when we have, with many prayers and tears, obtained these two former graces, then at length we perhaps venture to lift our eyes to that countenance full of glory and majesty, in order not only to adore, but - I say it with fear and trembling - to kiss. St. Bernard

In vain will one who is without love attempt to listen to or read this song of love (Song of Songs); the cold heart cannot comprehend or appreciate its language, full of feeling and fire. St. Bernard

A man in love treads on air; he runs for very joy. He is a free man; nothing can hold him back. Thomas A Kempis, III.5.4

To those who are constantly devoted and worship Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me. Gita 10:10

They alone attain to the divine wisdom who, like children and ignorant ones, lay aside their own wisdom, and serve God in love. St. John of the Cross, Ascent of Mount Carmel, p. 18

...the soul went forth, led by God, through love of Him only, and with that love inflamed, in the dark night, which is privation of, or purgation from, all sensual desires in all outward things of this world; all the pleasures of the flesh, and all satisfactions of the will. St. John of the Cross, Ascent of Mount Carmel, P.10.

On the path of "Bhakti" (Love), wealth and poverty have no relevance whatsoever. The Lord only cares for one's inner feelings and sentiments. Whoever has attained the Lord, has done so by pure love. Shanti Vachan Bhandar, 103.

If your love is fervent and desire ardent, then your Beloved shall definitely come. Shanti Vachan Bhandar, 201.

The eternal treasure is in your hands, if you are lost in the ecstasy of Lord's pure love. Shanti Vachan Bhandar, 570.

O Gracious Lord! Let my heart be filled with the love of Your Lotus Feet. (...) Shanti Vachan Bhandar, 696.

If you cherish whole-hearted love for the Lord, you shall definitely be delivered from the worldly ocean. Shanti Vachan Bhandar, 882.

Every person's worth is measured by his sentiments and emotions. One who is devoted to the Lord is priceless. Shanti Vachan Bhandar, 1180.

O Benevolent Lord! I solicit Thy pure love so that I may adore nothing except Thee. Shanti Vachan Bhandar, 1281.

If you do not harbour pure love for the Lord, all your spiritual achievements will be swallowed by your ego. Shanti Vachan Bhandar, 1363.

Love the Lord intensely. Do not be attracted and allured by the worldly attachments and involvements. Shanti Vachan Bhandar, 1365.

The Lord can become yours only by love. No other quality or merit can be of use. Shanti Vachan Bhandar, 1879.

A lover is tuned to his beloved every moment. Even in separation, they are united. Shanti Vachan Bhandar, 1880.

Love is naturally present in every heart, but heart which pines and yearns in love for the Lord is rare. Shanti Vachan Bhandar, 2143.

Shastriji speaks: "Oh God, let you alone remain, let me be totally annihilated. You alone are; I have no existence. As long as I am alive let me give this life to you and let 'I' be destroyed." Teachings of Babaji, P.56.

() lift your heart up to the Lord, with gentle stirring of love desiring him for his own sake and not for his gifts. Center all your attention and desire on Him. The Cloud of Unknowing, P.48.

For when you fix your love on Him, forgetting everything else, the saints and angels rejoice and hasten to assist you in every way - though the devils will rage and ceaselessly conspire to thwart you. Your fellow men are marvelously enriched by this work of yours, even if you may not fully understand how; the souls in purgatory are touched for their suffering is eased by the effects of this work; and, of course, your own spirit is purified and strengthened (). The Cloud of Unknowing, P.48.

He whom neither men nor angels can grasp by knowledge can be embraced by love. The Cloud of Unknowing, P.50.

Truly this is the unending miracle of love: that one loving person, through his love, can embrace God, whose being fills and transcends the entire creation. And this marvelous work of love goes on forever, for he whom we love is eternal. () to experience this love is the joy of eternal life while to lose it is eternal torment. The Cloud of Unknowing, P.50.

Thought cannot comprehend God. And so, I prefer to abandon all I can know, choosing rather to love Him whom I cannot know. The Cloud of Unknowing, P.54.

The only way to catch God is by love. Meditate upon Him (...). Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.28.

On account of pride, knowledge may often deceive you, but this gentle, loving affection will not deceive you. (...) Knowledge is full of labor, but love, full of rest. (...) because your spirit does rest in a freedom from doubt and anxiety what it must do; (...) The Book of Privy Counseling, P.188.

It is the way of all true lovers. The more they love the more they desire to love. The Cloud of Unknowing, P.70.

All the struggle is on man's side in the effort he must make to prepare himself for God's action, which is the awakening of love and which he alone can do. But persevere in doing your part and I promise you that God will not fail to do His. The Cloud of Unknowing, P.78.

Great love can change small things into great ones, and it is only love which lends value to our actions. And the purer love becomes, the less there will be within us for the flames of suffering to feed upon, and the suffering will cease to a suffering for us; it will become a delight! By the grace of God, I have received such a disposition of heart that I am never so happy as when I suffer for Jesus, whom I love with every beat of my heart. Faustina Kowalska, The Diary, 303.

Love will not allow itself to be taken prisoner; it is free like a queen. Love attains God. Faustina Kowalska, The Diary, 450.

(...) No greater joy is to be found than that of loving God. Already here on earth we can taste the happiness of those in heaven by an intimate union with God (...). Faustina Kowalska, The Diary, 507.

The Lord answered me, My daughter, love has brought Me here, and love keeps Me here. My daughter, if you knew what great merit and reward is earned by one act of pure love for Me, you would die of joy. I am saying this that you may constantly unite yourself with Me through love, for this is the goal of the life of your soul. (...) Faustina Kowalska, The Diary, 576.

(...) Love, love and once again love of God - there is nothing greater in heaven or on earth. The greatest greatness is to love God; true greatness is in loving God; real wisdom is to love God. All that is great and beautiful is in God; there is no beauty or greatness outside of Him. O you sages of the world and you great minds, recognize that true greatness is in loving God! (...) Faustina Kowalska, The Diary, 990.

(...) I do not fear at all being abandoned by creatures because, even if all abandoned me, I would not be alone, for the Lord is with me. And even if the Lord were to hide, love will know how to find Him. For love knows no gates or guards; even the keen-eyed Cherub himself with his flaming sword, will not stop love; it will work its way through wilderness and scorching heat, through storm, thunder and darkness, and will reach the source from which it came, and there it will endure forever. All things will come to an end; but love, never. Faustina Kowalska, The Diary, 1022.

O my most sweet Master, good Jesus, I give You my heart. You shape it and mold it after Your liking. O fathomless love, I open the calyx of my heart to You, like a rosebud to the freshness of dew. To You alone, my Betrothed, is known the fragrance of the flower of my heart. Let the fragrance of my sacrifice be pleasing to You. (...). Faustina Kowalska, The Diary, 1064.

According to Fenelon there are five stages in the love of God:

1.  Carnal love, that is purely servile love, for the gifts God may bestow, as seen in the Old Testament;
2.  Concupiscence, the love of God as our supreme good, the means of our happiness;
3.  Love with hope, love of self mingled with an incipient love of God for God's sake;
4.  Still a combination of self-love with a stronger love of God and an emphasis on hope;
5.  Pure Love when the soul loves God for God's sake, disinterested charity not motivated by the hope of reward or happiness.

Dubois, Elfrieda;  Fenelon and Quietism;  PP. 408-410. Submitted to L-Center Discussion Group by Janine.

Is it difficult to love God?  How long does it take?  Perhaps you have been discouraged by some lives of the saints or by spiritual accounts describing the journey toward God, which we are calling the loving search. This discouragement comes from the world, the flesh, and the devil.  Do not give in to it.  After all, what does it take to love God?....You have only to reach out and *will* to love God.  You can do this whenever you wish (i.e., whenever you *will*) by simply lifting your heart (will) to
God to embrace God in love.  You can do this in silence or you can very simply say:  'God, I love you.'  It takes only a brief moment. Meninger, William A.  The Loving Search for God:  Contemplative Prayer and The Cloud of Unknowing. PP.4-5.

The man who simply "works for" God exteriorly may lack that interior love for him, which is necessary for true perfection.  Love seeks not only to serve him but to know him, to commune with him in prayer, to abandon itself to him in contemplation. Merton, Thomas. Life and Holiness. PP. 51-52.

() For as long as you do not love, you will not come to know the love of your Father. You will not come to know Him because God is Love. Love, and have no fear, my children, because in love there is no fear. () Those who do not love are afraid because they expect punishment and because they know how empty and hard they are. I am leading you, children, toward love, towards the dear Father. I am leading you into Eternal Life. Eternal Life is my Son. Accept Him and you will have accepted Love. Our Lady of Medjugorie, March 18, 1995.

Dear children, today I am calling you to the love which is loyal and pleasing to God. () Surrender yourselves to God so that He may heal you, console you, and forgive everything inside you, which is hindrance on the way of love. In this way, God can mold your life and you will grow in love. Dear children, glorify God with the canticle of love so that God's love may be able to grow in you day by day to its fullness. (). Our Lady of Medjugorie, June 25, 1988. Words from Heaven, P.250.

() May your life in it's entirety become prayer, but without love prayer becomes impossible. Therefore, I call you to love first God, the Creator of your lives; then you will be able to recognize and love God in every man as He loves you. () I love you and therefore I am with you to teach you and guide you to a new life of conversion and renunciation. () Our Lady of Medjugorie, November 25, 1992. Words from Heaven, P.269.

Love is a gift from God. Therefore, pray that God may give you the gift of love. Our Lady of Medjugorie, May 28, 1984. Words from Heaven, P.374.

But still you think "I love" and find no rest until you perceive that it is God who loves you and keeps you in the state of loving (...). Abu Sa'id Ibn Abi'l Khayr (967-1049), a Sufi mystic, quoted after: Novak Philip, The World's Wisdom, P.325.

(...) those who pay attention to ways of behaving and speaking are one sort. Lovers who burn are another. Jelaluddin Rumi (1207-1273), a Sufi, quoted after: Novak Philip, The World's Wisdom, P.327.

When you give Him your unconditional love, He can no longer refuse you Himself. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.174.

Love Him, talk to Him every second of your life, in activity and in silence, with deep prayer, with the unceasing desire of your heart; and you shall see the screen of delusion melt away. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.182.

I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, if ye find my beloved, what will ye tell him? That I am love-sick. Song of Songs, 6:8. Quoted after: Miriam Bokser Caravella, The Holy Name. P.26.

"Bhakti is intense love of God." When a man gets it he loves all, hates none; he becomes satisfied for ever. Vivekananda, quoted in: Nikhilananda, Vivekananda, A Biography, P.193.

There is bhakti in you, only a veil of lust-and-wealth covers it, and as soon as that is removed, bhakti will manifest by itself. Vivekananda, quoted in: Nikhilananda, Vivekananda, A Biography, P.193.

One way of attaining bhakti is by repeating the name of God (...). To obtain bhakti, seek the company of holy men who have bhakti, and read books like the Gita and The Imitation of Christ. Always think of the attributes of God. Vivekananda, quoted in: Nikhilananda, Vivekananda, A Biography, P.193.

There can be no fear in true love; so long as there is the least fear, bhakti cannot even begin. In bhakti there is also no place for begging or bargaining with God. The idea of asking God for anything is sacrilege to a bhakta. He will not pray for health or wealth or even to go to heaven. Vivekananda, quoted in: Nikhilananda, Vivekananda, A Biography, P.194.

God, as love, is self-evident; it requires no proof to demonstrate the existence of the beloved to the lover. Vivekananda, quoted in: Nikhilananda, Vivekananda, A Biography, P.194.

We all have to begin as dualists in the religion of love. God is to us a separate Being, and we feel ourselves to be separate beings also. Love then comes in between, and man begins to approach God; and God also comes nearer and nearer to man. (...) At the last point of his progress is reached when he feels that he has become absolutely merged in the object of his worship. Vivekananda, quoted in: Nikhilananda, Vivekananda, A Biography, P.194.

God can be realized. One can see Him and speak to Him as I speak to and see you. But who takes the trouble to do so? People will shed tears for a wife, children, or possessions. But who weeps for the love of God? Yet if a man weeps sincerely for Him, He will manifest Himself to him. Ramakrishna, quoted in: Rolland, Romain. (1994). The Life of Ramakrishna. P.231.

A soul which is not clothed
with the inner garment of Love
should be ashamed of its existence.

Be drunk with Love,
for Love is all that exists.
Where is intimacy found
if not in the give and take of Love.

(...)

Only Love and the lover
can ressurect beyond time.
Give your heart to this;
the rest is secondhand.

Rumi, The Inner Garment of Love, quoted in: Helminski, Kabir (2000). The Rumi Collection. P.29.

(Abba Moses said) 'It is useless, therefore, to boast of our fasting, vigils, poverty, and reading of Scripture when we have not achieved the love of God and our fellow men. Whoever has achieved love has God within himself and his intellect is always with God.' St. John Cassian (360-435), quoted in: The Philokalia, Vol. I., P.95-6.

Undistracted prayer is a sign of love for God; but careless or distracted prayer is a sign of love for pleasure. St. Mark the Ascetic (4th Century C.E.), quoted in: The Philokalia, Vol. I., P.133.

For those who love God, all things work together unto good. Pennington, Basil. (1978). O Holy Mountain! Journal of a Retreat on Mount Athos. P.19.


Last updated: 2008/03/02

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