“I charge you to love me in the same love that I have loved you. You cannot do this for me, because I have loved you without being loved. Every love that you have for me is a love that comes from duty and not from graciousness, because you ought to do it. I love you from graciousness and not from duty. This is why you cannot give me the love that I am requesting of you. And therefore I have put you in the midst of your neighbor, so that you can do for him what you cannot do for me, that is, to love him without any self-interest from graciousness and without looking for any benefit. And what you do for him I consider as done for me.”—St. Catherine of Siena (1347-1380), The Dialogue, excerpted in The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism, edited by Bernard McGinn (2006)
The image accompanying this post is an oil-on-canvass painting by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, St. Catherine of Siena.