.

Let me tell you about love, that silly word you believe is about whether you like somebody or whether somebody likes you or whether you can put up with somebody in order to get something or someplace you want or you believe it has to do with how your body responds to another body like robins or bison or maybe you believe love is how forces or nature or luck is benign to you in particular not maiming or killing you but if so doing it for your own good.

Love is none of that.

There is nothing in nature like it.

Not in robins or bison or in the banging tails of your hunting dogs and not in blossoms or suckling foal.

Love is divine only and difficult always. If you think it is easy you are a fool.

If you think it is natural you are blind.

It is a learned application without reason or motive except that it is God.

You do not deserve love regardless of the suffering you have endured.

You do not deserve love because somebody did you wrong.

You do not deserve love just because you want it.

You can only earn – by practice and careful contemplations – the right to express it and you have to learn how to accept it.

Which is to say you have to earn God. You have to practice God. You have to think God-carefully.

And if you are a good and diligent student you may secure the right to show love.

Love is not a gift. It is a diploma. A diploma conferring certain privileges: the privilege of expressing love and the privilege of receiving it.

How do you know you have graduated? You don’t. What you do know is that you are human and therefore educable, and therefore capable of learning how to learn, and therefore interesting to God, who is interested only in Himself which is to say He is interested only in love. Do you understand me?

God is not interested in you. He is interested in love and the bliss it brings to those who understand and share the interest.

Couples that enter the sacrament of marriage and are not prepared to go the distance or are not willing to get right with the real love of God cannot thrive.

They may cleave together like robins or gulls or anything else that mates for life.

But if they eschew this mighty course, at the moment when all are judged for the disposition of their eternal lives, their cleaving won’t mean a thing.

God bless the pure and holy.

Amen.

Paradise

Chloe Anthony Wofford Morrison ( February 18, 1931 – August 5, 2019), known as Toni Morrison, was an American novelist, essayist, book editor, and college professor.

Her first novel, The Bluest Eye, was published in 1970. The critically acclaimed Song of Solomon (1977) brought her national attention and won the National Book Critics Circle Award.

In 1988, Morrison won the Pulitzer Prize for Beloved (1987); she gained worldwide recognition when she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993.

In 1996, the National Endowment for the Humanities selected her for the Jefferson Lecture, the U.S. federal government’s highest honor for achievement in the humanities.

Also that year, she was honored with the National Book Foundation’s Medal of Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.

On May 29, 2012, President Barack Obama presented Morrison with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In 2016, she received the PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction.