A Meditation on Love

Love consist in sharing
what one has
and what one is
with those one loves.
— St. Ignatius of Loyola

Take a moment to center yourself. Focus on each breath. Feel the air flow through your nostrils. Feel your chest expand. God breathes life into our soul; breathe in God's love and exhale gratitude.

Identify that place within you from which love flows. It may help for you to think of someone or something you love--a spouse, a child, a pet, or a dear friend. Try to locate this feeling of love--is it in your chest? gut? head? What physical sensations do you notice when you feel this love? Do you smile? Do your fingers tingle? Do you get a lump in your throat?

Sit in this place of love for a while. If your mind drifts, that's OK. Gently return your attention to this place of love.

Now imagine this place of love expanding outward. Who does it envelope? Be specific--imagine the faces of the people who you envelope in your love. Imagine their reaction to being drawn into your love. How do you react? Let that love continue to expand outward. Are there any surprises?

As your love continues to expand, do you notice any resistance? Are there people you do not want to envelope in your love, people you want to keep at a distance, people you don't want to share yourself with? Do you desire to keep this love to yourself or only share it with those you deem worthy?

Observe that resistance. Don't judge yourself for it. Don't fight it; don't try to push past anything that seems to be blocking the expansion of your love. Instead, take note of that obstacle, wish it peace and goodness, and then let your love continue to expand.

When you are ready, return your attention to your breathing. Notice your breath flowing in and out of your lungs. Notice the movement of your chest and abdomen. Notice your arms and legs, fingers and toes. Notice the room you are in.

Close with a private prayer of gratitude.