Today we entered uncharted territory and pushed the boundaries as we asked the girls and Mentonians to discuss love. So often love has been discussed in The Mentone Collective, but never has it been the starting directive. It became so evident through these conversations and reflections that love can and does mean something different to everyone. Here are some of the reflections.

"What happens when love becomes more than a word, more than the closing of a letter? Our language overuses such a wonderful word. How can we say we love God, but we also "love" ice cream and honey? Love means something different to everyone... Love can bring wondrous memories or painful regrets. Love is said so often but honestly do we even speak about it, do we ever unveil the true feelings in our souls? Love is so much more than just "love ya, see ya tomorrow." It is an emotion that excites our being. God created us to love and so many times we miss that, we are superficial. We never truly experience His love because we are scared; either scared of the unknown or scared because of our experience. Our world tells us to put up walls and to cower down, but God created us out of His love to love one another. We need to truly understand the amazing, all-powerful love Christ gives us and return that to others not by ourselves but by and through Christ alone. We try to do things on our own and we can't. The inventor of love calls us to follow His lead no matter how hard the person is to love, no matter how different they are from us and no matter if they return our love or not. The love that comes only from above is the reason for our existence. Why should we not bathe others in it and share the love we know to others? Struggles of this world may weigh us down but as Jesus says, "Take love, I have overcome the world." So in a sense, He is saying: "Take up love for I have overcome hate!"

-Catherine, 16

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