Quotations about   love your neighbor

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My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that?

Bob Hope (1903-2003) American comedian, actor, humanitarian (b. Leslie Townes Hope)
(Attributed)

Attributed by some to his first USO show in Viet Nam, at Vinh Long airbase (24 Dec 1964).
Added on 26-Nov-18 | Last updated 26-Nov-18
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Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. That is not our business and, in fact, it is nobody’s business. What we are asked to do is to love, and this love itself will render both ourselves and our neighbors worthy.

Thomas Merton (1915-1968) French-American religious and writer [a.k.a. Fr. M. Louis]
Disputed Questions, “The Power and Meaning of Love” (1953)
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Added on 18-Oct-17 | Last updated 18-Oct-17
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Now there is a final reason I think that Jesus says, “Love your enemies.” It is this: that love has within it a redemptive power. And there is a power there that eventually transforms individuals. That’s why Jesus says, “Love your enemies.” Because if you hate your enemies, you have no way to redeem and to transform your enemies. But if you love your enemies, you will discover that at the very root of love is the power of redemption. You just keep loving people and keep loving them, even though they’re mistreating you. Here’s the person who is a neighbor, and this person is doing something wrong to you and all of that. Just keep being friendly to that person. Keep loving them. Don’t do anything to embarrass them. Just keep loving them, and they can’t stand it too long. Oh, they react in many ways in the beginning. They react with bitterness because they’re mad because you love them like that. They react with guilt feelings, and sometimes they’ll hate you a little more at that transition period, but just keep loving them. And by the power of your love they will break down under the load. That’s love, you see. It is redemptive, and this is why Jesus says love. There’s something about love that builds up and is creative. There is something about hate that tears down and is destructive. So love your enemies.

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) American clergyman, civil rights leader, orator
“Loving Your Enemies,” Sermon, Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, Montgomery (17 Nov 1957)
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Added on 7-Jul-17 | Last updated 7-Jul-17
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In the final analysis, love is not this sentimental something that we talk about. It’s not merely an emotional something. Love is creative, understanding goodwill for all men. It is the refusal to defeat any individual. When you rise to the level of love, of its great beauty and power, you seek only to defeat evil systems. Individuals who happen to be caught up in that system, you love, but you seek to defeat the system.

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) American clergyman, civil rights leader, orator
“Loving Your Enemies,” Sermon, Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, Montgomery (17 Nov 1957)
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Added on 30-Jun-17 | Last updated 30-Jun-17
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He who withholds but a pennyworth of worldly goods from his neighbor, knowing him to be in need of it, is a robber in the sight of God.

Meister Eckhart (1260?-1327?) German Dominican mystic, theologian [a.k.a. Eckehart von Hochheim]
Meister Eckhart, Tractate 6, “Sister Katrei” [ed. Pfeiffer (1857), tr. Evans]
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Added on 30-Sep-16 | Last updated 30-Sep-16
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“Do unto others …” is a good rule of thumb. I live by that. Forgiveness is probably the greatest virtue there is. But that’s exactly what it is -­‐ a virtue. Not just a Christian virtue. No one owns being good. I’m good. I just don’t believe I’ll be rewarded for it in heaven. My reward is here and now. It’s knowing that I try to do the right thing. That I lived a good life. And that’s where spirituality really lost its way. When it became a stick to beat people with. “Do this or you’ll burn in hell.”

You won’t burn in hell. But be nice anyway.

Ricky Gervais (b. 1961) English comedian, actor, director, writer
“Why I’m an Atheist,” Wall Street Journal (19 Dec 2010)
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Added on 4-Aug-16 | Last updated 4-Aug-16
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For a man to love again where he is loved, it is the charity of publicans contracted by mutual profit and good offices; but to love a man’s enemies is one of the cunningest points of the law of Christ, and an imitation of the divine nature.

Francis Bacon (1561-1626) English philosopher, scientist, author, statesman
Sacred Meditations [Meditationes Sacræ], “Of the Exaltation of Charity” (1597)
Added on 4-Aug-16 | Last updated 4-Aug-16
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If I am not for myself, who will be for me? And if I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now — when?

Hillel (1st C. BC-1st C. AD) Jewish sage, rabbi
Talmud, Mishnah, “Pirkay Avot [Chapters of the Fathers],” Aboth 1:14 [tr. Rosten (1972)]
Added on 2-Aug-16 | Last updated 2-Aug-16
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The last, best fruit that comes to perfection, even in the kindliest soul, is tenderness toward the hard; forbearance toward the unforbearing; warmth of heart toward the cold; and philanthropy toward the misanthropic.

Jean-Paul - last best fruit - wist_info quote

Jean-Paul Richter (1763-1825) German novelist, art historian, aesthetician [pseud. Jean-Paul]
(Attributed)

Quoted in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895).
Added on 6-Jul-16 | Last updated 6-Jul-16
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God help my neighbors if I loved them as I love myself.

James Richardson (b. 1950) American poet
Vectors: Aphorisms and Ten-Second Essays, # 64 (2001)

See Matthew 22:36-40.
Added on 18-Dec-15 | Last updated 18-Dec-15
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Even while we kill and punish we must try to feel about the enemy as we feel about ourselves — to wish that he were not bad, to hope that he may, in this world or another, be cured: in fact, to wish his good. That is what is meant in the Bible by loving him: wishing his good, not feeling fond of him nor saying he is nice when he is not.

C.S. Lewis (1898-1963) English writer and scholar [Clive Staples Lewis]
Mere Christianity (1952)
Added on 1-Jul-15 | Last updated 24-Jun-15
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Judaism holds that man can most genuinely worship God by imitating those qualities that are godly: As God is merciful, so must we be compassionate; as God is just, so must we deal justly with our neighbor; as God is slow to anger, so must we be tolerant.

Morris N. Kertzer (1910-1983) American rabbi, writer
“What is a Jew?” Look Magazine (1954)
Added on 10-Jun-15 | Last updated 10-Jun-15
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The real problem of our existence lies in the fact that we ought to love one another, but do not.

Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971) American theologian and clergyman
Christian Realism and Political Problems, ch. 8 (1953)
Added on 20-Apr-15 | Last updated 20-Apr-15
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I believe I have already said that our goal is not to proselytize but to listen to needs, desires and disappointments, despair, hope. We must restore hope to young people, help the old, be open to the future, spread love. Be poor among the poor. We need to include the excluded and preach peace.

Francis I (b. 1936) Argentinian Catholic Pope (2013- ) [b. Jorge Mario Bergoglio]
“How the Church Will Change,” interview with Eugenio Scalfari, La Repubblica (1 Oct 2013) [tr. K Wallace]
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Added on 29-Oct-14 | Last updated 29-Oct-14
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Agape, the love of each one of us for the other, from the closest to the furthest, is in fact the only way that Jesus has given us to find the way of salvation and of the Beatitudes.

Francis I (b. 1936) Argentinian Catholic Pope (2013- ) [b. Jorge Mario Bergoglio]
“How the Church Will Change,” interview with Eugenio Scalfari, La Repubblica (1 Oct 2013) [tr. K Wallace]
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Added on 24-Sep-14 | Last updated 24-Sep-14
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Jesus replied, “‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.'” “All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?” Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.

The Bible (14th C BC - 2nd C AD) Christian sacred scripture
Matthew 19:19-22 [NIV]

See Matthew 22:36-40.
Added on 10-Oct-12 | Last updated 18-Dec-15
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The superior man is the providence of the inferior. He is eyes for the blind, strength for the weak, and a shield for the defenseless. He stands erect by bending above the fallen. He rises by lifting others.

Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) American lawyer, agnostic, orator
“Liberty”
Added on 11-Jan-12 | Last updated 2-Feb-16
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You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven.

The Bible (14th C BC - 2nd C AD) Christian sacred scripture
Matthew 5:43-45

See Matthew 22:36-40.
Added on 1-Aug-11 | Last updated 18-Dec-15
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Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise reason with thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him. Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the Lord.

The Bible (14th C BC - 2nd C AD) Christian sacred scripture
Leviticus 19:17-18 (KJV)

See Matthew 22:36-40.
Added on 11-Jun-10 | Last updated 18-Dec-15
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I give you a new commandment, that you love one another.  Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.

Jesus - new commandment - wist_info quote

The Bible (14th C BC - 2nd C AD) Christian sacred scripture
John 13:34-45 (NRSV)

Alternate translations:

  • NIV: "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."
  • KJV: "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.  By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."
  • "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."

See Matthew 22:36-40.

Added on 3-May-10 | Last updated 18-Jan-16
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“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

The Bible (14th C BC - 2nd C AD) Christian sacred scripture
Matthew 22:36-40 (NIV)

The two quoted verses are from Deut. 6:5 and Lev. 19:18.

Added on 26-Mar-10 | Last updated 18-Dec-15
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