We do not exist for ourselves alone, and it is only when we are fully convinced of this fact that we begin to love ourselves properly and thus also love others. What do I mean by loving ourselves properly? I mean, first of all, desiring to live, accepting life as a very great gift and a great good, not because of what it gives us, but because of what it enables us to give to others.
~Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island
God hates visionary dreaming; it makes the dreamer proud and pretentious. The one who fashions a visionary ideal of community demands that it be realized by God, by others, and by oneself. They enter the community of Christians with demands, set up their own law, and judge the brethren and God accordingly…. This dreamer acts as the creator of the Christian community, as if their dream binds all together. When things do not go their way, the effort is called a failure.
~Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together
Forgiveness is the name of love practiced among people who love poorly. The hard truth is that all of us love poorly. We do not even know what we are doing when we hurt others. We need to forgive and be forgiven every day, every hour–unceasingly. That is the great work of love among the fellowship of the weak that is the human family.
~Henri J. M. Nouwen, The Only Necessary Thing