Jim Cogley: Reflections – Tues 13th Feb – Mon 19th Feb 2024

Feb 14th is Valentine’s Day so all of this week’s postings are reflections on the nature of Love. They are taken mainly from many of the great minds down through the ages that have thought deeply about this sublime topic.

Tue 13th Feb – Reflections (1)

Love is the Strongest Perfume

‘Love is not love which alters when its alteration finds, or bends with the remover to remove.’ No, it is an ever fix’ed mark that looks on tempests and is never shaken.’ Shakespeare.

‘If you love something, set it free. Should it come back it’s yours forever; if it doesn’t it never was’.            Antonne de Saint-Exupery

There is no greater glory than love, nor any greater punishment than jealousy.’

Lope de Vega

The great tragedy in life is not that people perish, but that they cease to love.’

Somerset Maugham

The heart has eyes which the brain knows nothing of.’    Charles Perkhurst

‘The paradox of love is that it is the highest degree of awareness of the self as a person and the highest degree of absorption in the other’.     Rollo May

Valentine’s Day 14th Feb – Reflections (2)

We do not love people so much for the good they have done us, as for the good we have done them’.            Leo Tolstoy

Love is a fruit in season at all times, and within the reach of every hand’. Mother Teresa

Love makes difficult things easy and almost unworthy of note’.    Thomas Aquinas

On the earth through near and far, without love there is only fear.’          Pearl Buck

Keep love alive in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead.’            Oscar Wilde

Love is a human religion in which another is believed in.            Robert Seidenberg

‘He who wants to do good knocks at the gate. He who loves finds the gate open.’   Tagore

Love gives naught but itself and takes naught from itself. Love possesses naught, nor would it be possessed, for love is sufficient unto love. Kahil Gibran

Thurs 15th Feb – Reflection (3)

‘Our lives are shaped by those who love us and by those who refuse to love us.’


‘The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved, loved for ourselves, or rather loved in spite of ourselves’. Victor Hugo

‘As long as one can admire and love then one is young forever’.   Pablo Casals

‘No human creature can give orders to love’.      George Bernanos.

‘Love, like prayer, is a power, as well as a process. It’s curative and it’s creative.’  Zona Gale

Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outwards in the same direction’.  Antonne de Saint-Exupery

‘If you would be loved, then love and be loveable’.           Benjamin Franklin.

Fri 16th Feb – Reflection (4)

‘Love yourself first and everything else falls into place’.   Lucille Ball

‘The man who foolishly does me wrong, I will return to him the protection of my most ungrudging love.’  Buddha

‘The best way to know God is to love many things.’         Vincent Van Gogh

‘Love can never be measured in terms of the most arduous professions but only in terms of actions.’          Anonymous

‘Adult love always equates freedom. Only to the extent that I feel free in a relationship am I truly loved.’   Anonymous

‘Love is patient and kind, it is never jealous or resentful, it is not rude or selfish, it bears all things, hopes all things and endures all things.’           St Paul

‘There are only three things that last, Faith, Hope and Love and the greatest of these is Love.’ St Paul

‘Love only knows its own depth at the hour of parting, yet it always survives when grief has passed, because Love can never die.’   Anonymous

Sat 17th Feb – Reflection (5)

To love is to admire with the heart; to admire is to love with the head.

If we could look at the world in a loving way, it would rise up before us full of invitation, possibility and depth.

The power of love is ingrained in the human psyche. Whenever our heart opens to receive another with graciousness and receptivity, whenever we look kindly on and wish well towards another, or others we are loving. Love connects us to others. Love expands our horizons. Love is behind the decisions we make. Love makes us more real and whole. Love humbles us to open ourselves. Love calls us to spend time for another.  (Brewi & Brennan)

Love always finds a way. Indifference always finds excuses.

Love is not a feeling or emotion. It is a way of behaving.

Sun 18th Feb – 1st Sunday Lent

Letting Go

Our 40 days of Lent comes from the 40 days Jesus spent in the wilderness where he was tempted by Satan and where he encountered both wild beasts and angels. The wilderness is the universal human experience that most of us will have encountered, and here I include myself, where our world feels bleak, our mind is full of worry and anxiety, and we find ourselves tossing and turning through the night and battling with our own demons. The issue usually boils down to trying not to succumb to fear and adopting an attitude of trust that if I leave this matter in the Lords hands everything will turn out okay.

The carving shown is of a girl holding on by her fingertips to a branch of a tree. A well-known faith story is of someone falling off a cliff and, on the way down, managing to grab a branch. He/she shouts, ‘Is there anyone up there, please help?’ A voice above responds ‘I am your god and I want to help you. Just let go.’ The person then answers ‘Is there anyone else up there?’

Our greatest temptation in life is to stay clinging to the branch that affords some measure of reassurance and security, and not trust the Lord with whatever may be going on in our lives. Learning to trust doesn’t come easy and there are so many lessons in relation to trust we have to learn. For myself I find that so many of these, that I have practiced all my life, I still fall down on and need to learn all over again.

Sometimes I am asked do I play golf and my answer is yes but very badly and very infrequently. While in KQ I was part of a society and we played about once a week often beginning about 6.30 on a Sunday morning. Then years passed when I hardly played at all. One day a friend came who invited me to get back into the swing.  Being rusty for so long I was reasonably pleased with the first three or four holes but then made an inevitable blunder. The next few holes were a disaster and the more I tried to get back on track the more my game unraveled. My body was tense, I tightened my grip on the club and I forced every ounce of energy into each swing. Every time the ball mocked me by going wide or hardly going at all.

Then I gave up trying, more out of frustration and annoyance than anything else. Then to my amazement the ball went dead straight and had the distance to reach the green so I asked what was so very different. For one thing I had stopped trying as if it all depended on me, and I was allowing the club to do the work. Secondly, my body had relaxed and I was holding the club in a much lighter grip. Then my mind wasn’t engaged in trying to figure out how to do it right and I was just keeping my eye on the ball. From there on most of the shots were just fine and I really enjoyed the rest of the game.

Again in golf a distinction is made between powerless effort and effortless power and it’s a useful one in relation to life. What I was engaged in initially was powerless effort, giving it everything I had but going nowhere. The lesson I needed to learn was effortless power. Letting go of anxiety and tension and just going with the flow is the way of trust. Another word for it could be grace. To live gracefully is to live the life of trust.

Now in case you think that I’m inflicting a golf lesson on you, that’s not what it’s about. What I learned had much deeper implications in relation to trusting the Lord. The more I act as if it all depends on me the greater the mess I make of my life. The more effort I put in, and the harder I try, the worse things seem to get. Only when I let go my struggle and surrender, that’s when things really begin to come around. Letting go and letting God might be the catch phrase but it’s like the lesson of allowing the club to do the work that’s what makes all the difference.

Mon 19th Feb – Reflection (6)

Genuine love is a religious experience. It can be the romantic love of a man and woman, the love of friends, parental love, the love of a child for a parent or familial love.

No revolution can happen in time that will alter a person’s life except the one surprise of being loved.

Love is life believing in itself.

Love is an archetype. To love is a preformed tendency in humans, part of the primordial blueprint for our human way of feeling, relating and acting towards each other. It finds its way into every person and every culture.          Robert Johnson

When in doubt always do the most loving thing and this makes it possible to live with yourself, whatever the outcome.

Similar Posts

Join the Discussion

Keep the following in mind when writing a comment

  • Your comment must include your full name, and email. (email will not be published). You may be contacted by email, and it is possible you might be requested to supply your postal address to verify your identity.
  • Be respectful. Do not attack the writer. Take on the idea, not the messenger. Comments containing vulgarities, personalised insults, slanders or accusations shall be deleted.
  • Keep to the point. Deliberate digressions don't aid the discussion.
  • Including multiple links or coding in your comment will increase the chances of it being automati cally marked as spam.
  • Posts that are merely links to other sites or lengthy quotes may not be published.
  • Brevity. Like homilies keep you comments as short as possible; continued repetitions of a point over various threads will not be published.
  • The decision to publish or not publish a comment is made by the site editor. It will not be possible to reply individually to those whose comments are not published.