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The excellent way of Love

“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.” 1Corinthians 13:1 In 1874, at the young age of 23, Henry Drummond (1851-1897) wrote ‘The best thing in the world’, a message on Paul’s writing about Love. Some years ago, Paul Coelho rediscovered and proposed this text with the title “The Supreme Gift”. It is not possible to define what love is. It is similar to a prism, which reflects the light as a rainbow with its different colours. Love consists of patience, goodness, generosity, humility, kindness, devotion, tolerance, naivety and sincerity. We are called to learn how to love from God, indeed “We love because he first loved us” (1John 4:19). God is love; a love which is able to purify and transform. The human being is not able to change himself, nor with his efforts, neither with his willingness; nor even time can change him. Only love is able to transform man. First as a believer and then as a minister of the gospel, I can validate what the apostle Paul wrote when he stated, “without love, we are nothing but a clanging cymbal.” The two sentences “a resounding gong” and “a clanging cymbal” do not imply a dislike of the music, but they do refer to a noise, which could have been more or less deafening and disconnected. This kind of noise was performed in the pagan rites where these instruments were used; the result was a clink with no harmony, a noise, which is just a very far relative of a proper melody. Our Lord Jesus Christ considered as important saying to his disciples: “Remain in my love” (John 15:9). C.S. Lewis wrote “To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. [...] The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell. ” (C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves, page 111).