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The unbreakable bond between love of God and love of neighbor is emphasized. One is so closely connected to the other that to say that we love God becomes a lie if we are closed to our neighbor or hate him altogether. Saint John's words should rather be interpreted to mean that love of neighbor is a path that leads to the encounter with God, and that closing our eyes to our neighbor also blinds us to God.
Pope Benedict XVI
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I am called to love my neighbor, which I do. I can disagree with my neighbor about several things, but I'm not going to hate my neighbor. It's not up to me to hate anybody. It's not up to me to judge anyone. It's up to me to be nice, to be kind and to do everything I can to help somebody.
Larry the Cable Guy
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We are not taught "love thy neighbor unless their skin is a different color from yours " or "love thy neighbor unless they don't make money as you do" or "love thy neighbor unless they don't share your belies." We are taught "love thy neighbor". No exceptions. We are all in this together - every single one of us. And the only way we are going to survive as a society is through compassion. A Great Community does not mean we all think the same things or do the same things. It simply means we are willing to work together and are willing to love despite our differences.
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It used to be that parents didn't have to be home. If a neighbor so I child misbehaving, it was considered appropriate for the neighbor to intervene. The parents would be grateful when they found out, and they would take the word of the neighbor if the child protested his innocence. Unmarried and divorced parents tend not to behave that way. Instead, they tend to try to be the good guy to their children.
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You are angry with your neighbor, you despise him, do not like to speak peaceably and lovingly to him, because there is something harsh, abrupt, careless, unpleasant to you in his character, in his speech, in his manners-because he is more conscious of his dignity than perhaps is necessary; or because he may be somewhat proud and disrespectful; but you yourself, your neighbor's physician and teacher, are more guilty than him.
John of Kronstadt
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There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal.... Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses. If he is your Christian neighbor he is holy in almost the same way, for in him also Christ verse latitat - the glorifier and the glorified, Glory Himself, is truly hidden.
C. S. Lewis
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There is no greater love than that a man lays down his life for his neighbor. When you hear someone complaining and you struggle with yourself and do not answer him back with complaints; when you are hurt and bear it patiently, not looking for revenge; then you are laying down your life for your neighbor.
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The law in the United States, in every jurisdiction until about 1876, was that if a factory put smoke into the air, even one day a year, and it got onto a neighbor's property, the neighbor had the right to enjoin to close down the factory, and the courts had no choice but to do that.
Robert F. Kennedy
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Millions of small changes can be done, and through that, there can be a bigger impact because anybody can talk to another person. Anybody can educate somebody if they feel like their neighbor is stupid. It's more like "Educate thy neighbor, my friend." I think that enthusiasm, and not giving into lazy-minded cynicism, is where the potential and hope is.
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It is not enough for us to say: "I love God," but I also have to love my neighbor. St. John says that you are a liar if you say you love God and you don't love your neighbor. How can you love God whom you do not see, if you do not love your neighbor whom you see, whom you touch, with whom you live?
Worship Allah and associate nothing with Him, and to parents do good, and to relatives, orphans, the needy, the near neighbor, the neighbor farther away, the companion at your side, the traveler, and those whom your right hands possess (slaves). Indeed, Allah does not like those who are proud and boastful. [Al-Qur'an Surah Nisa 4:36]
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There can be no be no better instruction... than that every man who is to deal with his neighbor to follow these commandments. 'Whatsoever ye would that others should do unto you, do ye also unto them,' and 'Love thy neighbor as thyself.' If these were always followed, then everything would instruct and arrange itself; then no law books nor courts nor judicial actions would be required. All things would quietly and simply be set to rights, for everyone's heart and conscience would guide them.
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Then I asked her if she wanted to to the funeral, and my God, the look on her face. You'd think I'd asked her to drown the neighbor's cat." Admittedly, drowning the neighbor's cat didn't really clue me in as much as I would've liked. "So, she was angry?" He blinked back to me and stared. Like a long time.
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Perhaps what I am about to say will appear strange to you gentlemen, socialists, progressives, humanitarians as you are, but I never worry about my neighbor, I never try to protect society which does not protect me - indeed, I might add, which generally takes no heed of me except to do me harm - and, since I hold them low in my esteem and remain neutral towards them, I believe that society and my neighbor are in my debt.
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Perhaps what I am about to say will appear strange to you gentlemen, socialists, progressives, humanitarians as you are, but I never worry about my neighbor, I never try to protect society which does not protect me -- indeed, I might add, which generally takes no heed of me except to do me harm -- and, since I hold them low in my esteem and remain neutral towards them, I believe that society and my neighbor are in my debt.
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So you're here by yourself?" 'Yes." 'Seems like an odd place to come by yourself." 'I needed to get away." 'Woman trouble? That's another of my father's expressions." 'No, actually. I poisoned my neighbor's dogs." After a moment she said, 'How drunk are you?" 'Quite." 'Is that true?" 'What?" 'That you poisoned your neighbor's dogs." 'I'm afraid it is." 'I have dogs." 'Well, keep them away from me.
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Jesus tells us: 'Love your neighbor as yourself' (Mk 12:31). How can we love our neighbor if we can't or won't love ourselves, at least a little? When we hold ourselves to unrealistic standards, that perfectionist attitude can't help but trickle down. It becomes harder to have compassion for others if we have no compassion for ourselves.
Mary DeTurris Poust
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Do not regard the feelings of a person who speaks to you about his neighbor disparagingly, but rather say to him: "Stop, brother! I fall into graver sins every day, so how can I criticize him? In this way you will achieve two things; you will heal yourself and your neighbor with one plaster. This is one of the shortest ways to the forgiveness of sins; I mean, not to judge. 'Judge not, and ye shall not be judged."
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It may be possible for each to think too much of his own potential glory hereafter; it is hardly possible for him to think too often or too deeply about that of his neighbor. The load, or weight, or burden of my neighbor's glory should be laid daily on my back, a load so heavy that only humility can carry it, and the backs of the proud will be broken... "It is in light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations - these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit... Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses.
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No one has learned the meaning of living until he has surrendered his ego to the service of his fellow man. Service to others is akin to duty, the fulfillment of which brings true joy. We do not live alone - in our city, our nation, or our world. There is no dividing line between our prosperity and our neighbor's wretchedness. 'Love they neighbor' is more than a divine truth. It is a pattern for perfection.
Thomas S. Monson
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No, it is not a commonplace, sir! If up to now, for example, I have been told to 'love my neighbor,' and I did love him, what came of it?... What came of it was that I tore my caftan in two, shared it with my neighbor, and we were both left half naked, in accordance with the Russian proverb which says: If you chase several hares at once, you won't overtake any one of them. But science says: Love yourself before all, because everything in the world is based on self-interest. If you love only yourself, you will set your affairs up properly, and your caftan will also remain in one piece. And economic truth adds that the more properly arranged personal affairs and, so to speak, whole caftans there are in society, the firmer its foundations are and the better arranged its common cause. It follows that by acquiring for everyone, as it were, and working so that my neighbor will have something more than a torn caftan, not from private, isolated generosities now, but as a result of universal prosperity.
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In America, if your next-door neighbor has a Rolls-Royce, you want one too. But in England, if your neighbor has a Rolls-Royce, you want him to die in a fiery accident. That's a quote from someone else, but there's something about American optimism, that feeling you can do anything if you're at least middle class in America. If I can have a writing career, anyone can. There's nothing special about me.
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I happen to think that Jesus was the greatest hero of all time. I don't think you could invent that kind of a hero. He had it all - everything that the human spirit could yearn for. There is nothing that man ever said or did, by word or deed that is evil. That is not full of compassion. That is not full of love for your neighbor whether he's down or out, or up - no matter what. He taught that you must love your neighbor whether he's a crook, a beggar, whether he's rich or poor.
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There was a four year old child whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife. Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman's yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there. When his Mother asked what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said, "Nothing, I just helped him cry. ²" "Even after all this time the sun never says to the earth "You owe me" Look what happens with a love like that, It lights the whole sky.."
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Why should we believe in God? We hate Christianity and Christians. Even the best of them must be regarded as our worst enemies. They preach love of one's neighbor, and pity, which is contrary to our principles. Christian love is a hinderance to the revolution. Down with love of one's neighbor; what we want is hatred. We must know how to hate, for only at this price can we conquer the universe...The fight should also be developed in the Moslem and Catholic countries, with the same ends in view and by the same means.
Gerald Burton Winrod
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If someone is capable of loving his partner without restrictions, unconditionally, then he is manifesting the love of God. If the love of God becomes manifest, he will love his neighbor. If he loves his neighbor, he will love himself. If he loves himself, then everything returns to its proper place.
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You see I believe in that stuff to: yoga and mystical powers. I once knew a man who could kill himself on command. Can you believe that?... Why do you laugh?... Believe it! By will of his own mind, he could make his heart stop beating for good' My neighbor poised and looked seriously at me, searching in my eyes. '... You laugh!' he repeated once more... 'You laugh, but he was a master at it! He could commit suicide at his own will!' Indeed, hearty laughter streamed through my nose. 'Could he do it perpetually?' I asked. 'Perpetually... ?' My neighbor rubbed his waxy chin. 'I mean, is he still able to do it?' 'I'm not sure I understand.' 'Well? Then is he dead... ?!' My neighbor's puzzled face slowly began to transform into a look of realization. 'But sir, ' he said, 'Of course he's dead! I mean to say... this man could kill himself on command, you see. And you don't come back from the dead!' The two of us found ourselves crossing to the door so I could let my visitor out. I slapped him with friendliness on the shoulder. 'No, you don't come back from the dead, ' I agreed.
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It's a beautiful day in this neighborhood, A beautiful day for a neighbor. Would you be mine? Could you be mine?... It's a neighborly day in this beauty wood, A neighborly day for a beauty. Would you be mine? Could you be mine?... I've always wanted to have a neighbor just like you. I've always wanted to live in a neighborhood with you. So, let's make the most of this beautiful day. Since we're together we might as well say: Would you be mine? Could you be mine? Won't you be my neighbor? Won't you please, Won't you please? Please won't you be my neighbor?
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What is this Charity, this clinking of money between strangers, and when did Charity cease to be a comforting and secret thing between one friend and another? Does Love make her voice heard through a committee, does Love employ an almoner to convey her message to her neighbor? ... The real Love knows her neighbor face to face, and laughs with him and weeps with him, and eats and drinks with him, so that at last, when his black day dawns, she may share with him, not what she can spare, but all that she has.
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He knew very well that the great majority of human conversation is meaningless. A man can get through most of his days on stock answers to stock questions, he thought. Once he catches onto the game, he can manage with an assortment of grunts. This would not be so if people listened to each other, but they don't. They know that no one is going to say anything moving and important to them at that very moment. Anything important will be announced in the newspapers and reprinted for those who missed it. No one really wants to know how his neighbor is feeling, but he asks him anyway, because it is polite, and because he knows that his neighbor certainly will not tell him how he feels. What this woman and I say to each other is not important. It is the simple making of sounds that pleases us.
Peter S. Beagle
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I confess that altruistic and cynically selfish talk seem to me about equally unreal. With all humility, I think whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might, infinitely more important than the vain attempt to love one's neighbor as one's self. If you want to hit a bird on the wing you must have all your will in focus, you must not be thinking about yourself, and equally, you must not be thinking about your neighbor; you must be living with your eye on that bird. Every achievement is a bird on the wing.
Oliver Wendell Holmes
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Suicide is the means of men whose resilience has been eaten away by rust, the rust of the daily round. They were born for action, but they have delayed their action; so action turns back on them with the swing of a pendulum. Suicide is an act, the act of those who have not been able to accomplish others. It is an act of faith, like all acts. Faith in one's neighbor, in the existence of one's neighbor, in the reality of the self and the other selves.
Pierre Drieu La Rochelle
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We are commanded to love God with all our strength, heart, mind and soul and our neighbor in the same way God loves us - it is the same love flowing between God and the soul - the soul and its neighbor. It is difficult, but the burden of the cross is light compared to the cross of uncontrolled emotions, anger, insistence on one's own opinion, the frustration of trying to change others rather than being changed oneself, resentment, regrets and guilt. Accepting the present moment like Jesus did is certainly a lighter burden.
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To be good Christians you have to contemplate the suffering humanity of Jesus. "How can we bear witness? Contemplate Jesus. How can we forgive? Contemplate Jesus suffering. How can we not hate our neighbor? Contemplate Jesus suffering. How can we avoid gossiping about our neighbor? Contemplate Jesus suffering. There is no other way". These virtues are the those of the Father, who forgives us always, and Our Lady, Our Mother, shares in these virtues too.
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Worthless is the charity of the man who bestows it unwillingly, because material charity is not his, but God's gift, while only the disposition of the heart belongs to the man. This is why many charities prove almost worthless, for they were bestowed unwillingly, grudgingly, without respect for the person of our neighbor. So also the hospitality of many persons proves worthless because of their hypocritical vain-glorious behavior to their guests. Let us offer our sacrifices upon the altar of love to our neighbor, with heart-felt affection: 'for God loves a cheerful giver'
John of Kronstadt
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We receive mixed messages about taking good care of ourselves. Love thy neighbor as thyself means to love thyself and thy neighbor. Yet, self-love often is confused with selfishness and conceit. We are selfish when we do not love and accept ourselves, and attempt to take from others to fill the emptiness. Conceit indicates low self-worth and an attempt to conceal it. It is difficult to extend to others what you have not been able to give yourself. Take good care of yourself so you can care about the rest of us.
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And then there will be the times when I see you laughing. Like the time you'll be playing with the neighbor's puppy, poking your hands through the chain-link fence separating our back yards, and you'll be laughing so hard you'll start hiccupping. The puppy will run inside the neighbor's house, and your laughter will gradually subside, letting you catch your breath. Then the puppy will come back to the fence to lick your fingers again, and you'll shriek and start laughing again. It will be the most wonderful sound I could ever imagine, a sound that makes me feel like a fountain, or a wellspring.
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Beneficence is a duty. He who frequently practices it, and sees his benevolent intentions realized, at length comes really to love him to whom he has done good. When, therefore, it is said, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself," it is not meant, thou shalt love him first and do him good in consequence of that love, but, thou shalt do good to thy neighbor; and this thy beneficence will engender in thee that love to mankind which is the fulness and consummation of the inclination to do good.
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Once upon a time a man whose ax was missing suspected his neighbor's son. The boy walked like a thief, looked like a thief and spoke like a thief. But the man found his ax while digging in the valley, and the next time he saw his neighbor's son, the boy walked, looked and spoke like any other child.
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Suppose a white man should come to me and say, "Joseph, I like your horses. I want to buy them." I say to him, "No, my horses suit me; I will not sell them." Then he goes to my neighbor and says to him, "Joseph has some good horses. I want to buy them, but he refuses to sell." My neighbor answers, "Pay me the money and I will sell you Joseph's horses." The white man returns to me and says, "Joseph, I have bought your horses and you must let me have them." If we sold our lands to the government, this is the way they bought them.
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If a man were to look over the fence on one side of his garden and observe that the neighbor on his left had laid his garden path round a central lawn; and were to look over the fence on the other side of his garden and observe that the neighbor on his right had laid his path down the middle of the lawn, and were then to lay his own garden path diagonally from one corner to the other, that man's soul would be lost. Originality is only to be praised when not prefaced by the look to right and left.
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