I was pondering the words of a modern-day prophet this morning:
St. Paul answered this question almost 2,000 years before this song became a #1 hit in the U.S. and the U.K:
Love is patient. Love is kind. It does not want what belongs to others. It does not brag. It is not proud. It does not dishonor other people. It does not look out for its own interests. It does not easily become angry. It does not keep track of other people’s wrongs. Love is not happy with evil. But it is full of joy when the truth is spoken. It always protects. It always trusts. It always hopes. It never gives up. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)
Love is not a feeling, it is an action. To love something is offer help and assistance. And I am called to do that generously, without expecting anything in return, without counting the cost. St. Ignatius of Loyola explains the active nature of love:
Love consists in sharing
what one has
and what one is
with those one loves.
Love ought to show itself in deeds
more than in words.
Generosity is the key to love. The more I share what I have and who I am with others, the more I love them. But the more I hold back--if I am not willing to share myself with others, or if I am not willing to let them share what they have and what they are with me--the less I love.
And the less I love, the less I know God.
Spend a few minutes pondering the following words until your body, breath, mind, and spirit are calm, still, light, and free:
- May I be patient, kind, and generous toward all.
- May I share all that I have and all that I am with everyone and everything.
- May I welcome and accept others as they are, without conditions or reservations.
Close with a simple Amen.