An Open Heart

In honor of today's memorial, take a moment to consider the life and example of St. Peter Claver (1581-1654). 

I love, in spite of the fact that nature holds me back.

Take a moment and think of someone that you find difficult to love. That is, who is someone you try to avoid? Who is someone you find difficult to spend time with? Who is someone you spend time criticizing, judging, and condemning? Bring to mind as many details as you can about this person.

What holds you back from loving this person? What prevents your from sharing your time and presence with her or him? This aversion is a source of your suffering and theirs. Ask the Holy Spirit for the freedom to let go of this aversion.

Welcome this person into your heart. Pray the following: May she/he be blessed with health, harmony, happiness, and peace. Repeat this prayer for several moments. What is different about how you feel toward this person? How might you interact with him or her in the future? Remember this feeling.

Close with this prayer or one of your own: St. Peter Claver, may your example inspire me to love all people, without exception. I ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.