As you examine your own self, and your conscience, remember these words.
As you face your trials now and in the future, remember these words.
When you hear conflicting versions of the truth, remember the hallmark of these words.
When your faith is strained, and hope seems pointless, and your love begins to grow cold, and fear eats at the marrow of your bones, remember these words.
Not many may remain standing, but those that do, will remain standing only with love. If you do not hold closely to love, above all else, then you may have already fallen. And if there is time, you might be able to stand again, and gather yourself together, and continue to go forward. Even Peter himself fell three times, but in his sorrow and humility rose again.
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
For we know incompletely and we prophesy incompletely, but when our fullness with God comes, what is incomplete and imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.
For now we see life as only a reflection, darkly, as if in a mirror; then we shall see true life face to face. Now I know incompletely; then I shall know fully, even as I will be fully known.
But for now these three virtues abide: faith, hope and love. And the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:1-27