Strong spirits: if you had to choose one virtue...

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If you had to choose one positive virtue, or characteristic, or capacity over all the others, what would you choose? I'm asking you to consider what takes precedence over the other good values that we might list.

For me, the answer is love. I believe love is the umbrella of all the other virtues, and that all those others, as important as they are, derive their strength and power from love.

Paul the apostle said the same. In his letter to the Corinthians he wrote that "if I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing." and later adds " And now these three remain, faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." (1 Corinthians 13: 3, 13)

Jesus, in answering those who were trying to trip him up, when asked what the greatest commandment was, answered, "'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." (Matthew 22:37,38)

Love takes precedence because, as the apostle John wrote: "God is Love." In a world filled with hatred and those bent on evil, our daily challenge is to wage love. When we love all, even our enemies, we are on our way to becoming the people God intends us to be.

How's your love?

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