The Letters of Corinthians
I might speak with tongues of men and angels, but if I have not love, I am become no better than echoing brass or a clanging cymbal. I may have the gift of prophecy, I may understand all sacred secrets and all knowledge, I may have faith enough to remove mountains, but if I have not love I am nothing. I may dole out all that I have, I may surrender my body that I may be burned, but if I have not love it is no good to me.
Love is patient; love is kind; love knows no envy; love is no braggart; it is not inflated with its own self-importance; it does not behave gracelessly; it does not insist on its rights; it never flies into a temper; it does not store up the memory of any wrong it has received; it finds no pleasure in evil-doing; it rejoices with the truth; it can endure anything; it is completely trusting; it never ceases to hope; it bears everything with triumphant fortitude.
Love never fails. Whatever prophecies there are, they will cease. Whatever knowledge we have will pass away. It is only part of the truth that we know now and only part of the truth that we can foretell to others. But when that is complete shall come, that which is incomplete will vanish away. When I was a child I used to speak like a child; I used to think like a child; I used to reason like a child. When I became a man I put an end to childish things. Now we see only reflections in a mirror which leaves us with nothing but riddles to solve, but then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; but then I’ll know even as I am known. Now faith; hope, love remain—these three; but the greatest of these is love.