“The reality of love is determined by the relationship itself which it
establishes. Love is only possible between persons as persons. That is
to say, If I love you, I must love you as a person and not as a thing.
And in that case my relationship to you is not merely the relationship
of a subject to an object, but it is analogous to my relationship to
myself. It is, so to speak, a relationship of a subject to a subject.
This strange-sounding expression is only another way of saying something
very familiar: I must know how to love you as myself.”

–Thomas Merton