“When one loves, one does not calculate.”― St. Thérèse de Lisieux
No subtraction or division.
Multiplication and addition perhaps.
The calculation that grows, expands, deepens.
Better yet, no counting, inventory, calculation.
A smile, a nod, an encouraging word.
Love in acts and action, a possibility in each moment.
Kindness in play.
“A word or a smile is often enough to put fresh life in a despondent soul.”― St. Thérèse de Lisieux
“We do not need to wait for the Holy Spirit to come: he came on the day of Pentecost. He has never left the church.”— John R.W. Stott
“We must allow the Word of God to confront us, to disturb our security, to undermine our complacency and to overthrow our patterns of thought and behavior.”— John R.W. Stott
I’ve shared many blessing from Kate Bowler because they are honest, raw, real and remind us of our imperfection and beauty at the same time. We are not a multiple-choice question with one answer. We are all-of-the-above and more. An essay filled with contradiction, complexity, light, and deep capacity for joy, often hidden beneath the surface of fickle feelings.
If you get trapped in thoughts of scarcity and that no one understands, God does to be sure. Abundant, overflowing love with no condition or contracts. We get tangled up in our own stuff, missing those who are in need right in front of us. If you are feeling alone, reach out, move out of your own head, help another. We are on this journey together not to win but to walk with each other. Wait up, loop back around, and pick up another to carry on together.
“Bless us when we’re scared about having to face the hard things alone. A blessing for you. God, what if. What if I walk out on this ledge and feel only the taste of my fear? What if I discover that what I carry cannot be shouldered? What if I live too long without that feeling? That I can set this, this, this down. God, fill me with a love that staves off all the darkness. Comfort me when I can’t think another reasonable thought. And if I can’t, I mean, I just can’t feel your nearness, hear you telling me that I am loved, send your armies of do gooders, tuck my name inside their hearts. Give me people who love to hold more than this day can manage. And if you can’t send more than one because more than one would be nice, just send the nearest person to take things out of my hands and into theirs until I know again today that I should never be expected to walk this road alone.” – Kate Bowler
Joy, peace, love to you this day, and each day. Cast light.
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” – Colossians 3:12-17
This is the scripture that I read at my niece’s wedding last night.
Put on love.
It’s a choice that we make daily.
We choose to put it on or to pass it by for our ego, our smallness, for being “right.”
On beautiful celebrations it shows up tangible in embraces, ceremony, ritual, dancing, toasts, reflection, laughter.
More vividly and sweeter in gathering again for the first time in 2 ½ years.
We are all connected.
Called to love.
To love those closest to us and also those we disagree with, those who vote differently, those who are irritating, those who offend us.
That’s when love is most real and revealing.
To make the decision to clothe ourselves in compassion, kindness, gentleness, patience, forgiveness all bound up by love.
May gratitude, peace and love be staples you partake in daily.
Put on love.
“We do not think ourselves into new ways of living, we live ourselves into new ways of thinking.”― Richard Rohr
“Most of us were taught that God would love us if and when we change. In fact, God loves you so that you can change. What empowers change, what makes you desirous of change is the experience of love. It is that inherent experience of love that becomes the engine of change.”― Richard Rohr
May you experience love today, offering it freely without expectation.
The act stirs the power of love which always returns to the giver.
Change of thought, word and action.
Entering the river, the flow of life.
Grateful for this day.
Make some space for allowing amidst the pursuit.
Be found, especially by yourself.
You must plant to bloom.
“Faith does not need to push the river because faith is able to trust that there is a river. The river is flowing. We are in it.”― Richard Rohr
“God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.” – Saint Augustine
“No pain, no palm; no thorns, no throne; no gall, no glory; no cross, no crown.” – William Penn
As Palm Sunday begins the most holiest of weeks, may we know that love was and is the reason for the Cross. And may we offer but sliver of that kind of love to others each day.
“God never tires of forgiving us; we are the ones who tire of seeking his mercy.” – Pope Francis
Make this week holy, sacred and filled with deep gratitude for a love that carries us each day, if only we would recognize and receive it. Seek His mercy, accept His love.
“Remember finally, that the ashes that were on your forehead are created from the burnt palms of last Palm Sunday. New beginnings invariably come from old false things that are allowed to die.” – Richard Rohr
“Love is like a beautiful flower which I may not touch, but whose fragrance makes the garden a place of delight just the same.” – Helen Keller
“It is not easy always to be joyful, to keep in mind the duty of delight.” – Dorothy Day
Duty of delight.
Rigor of joy.
Discipline of optimism.
Practice of play.
May we take our duty, rigor, discipline and practice seriously to move from dormancy to awakening.
A revolution of the heart to change self and the world.
Go love someone today, or maybe even a few.
“The greatest challenge of the day is: how to bring about a revolution of the heart, a revolution which has to start with each one of us?” – Dorothy Day
“Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.” – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
“If we are stretching to live wiser and not just smarter, we will aspire to learn what love means, how it arises and deepens, how it withers and revives, what it looks like as a private good but also a common good. I long to make the word echo differently in hearts and ears – not less complicated, but differently so. Love as muscular, resilient.” – Krista Tippett, Becoming Wise – An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living
May we go beyond figuring it all out into the vast, deep mystery of life.
Exploring and inviting.
Creating rather than critiquing.
Sails up harnessing the wind.
Rudder deep cutting rough and calm waters.
Adventure and possibility.
Struggles and victories.
Small and large.
Salt and light.
Bold and fierce.
Integrating and infusing.
Love deepens and expands when exercised without measure, qualification or delay.
The cure for all, waiting to be released from each heart into the world.
Again and again.
Simple acts of kindness, attention, words, listening, welcoming, belonging, togetherness.
The audacity of love that dares to heal, transform and change the world.
One person at a time.
Powerful, resilient and muscular.
Who, what and where will you love today?
“The exacting, enlivening aspiration of love does send us inside to know and honor the particularities of our identities and our struggles. But it coaxes us out again to encounter with the vastness of human identity.”– Krista Tippett, Becoming Wise – An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living
“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” – Rumi
Doors in walls.
Let the light and fresh air in.
Look up to see the expanse and depth.
Look in to see the expanse and depth.
Be renewed in the seeking.
Refreshed in the rerouting of thoughts.
“That which is false troubles the heart, but truth brings joyous tranquility.” – Rumi
“If every tiny flower wanted to be a rose, spring would lose its loveliness.” -St. Therese of Lisieux
“When one loves, one does not calculate.”
― Saint Thérèse de Lisieux
May you give and receive love without counting or measure (impossible and doable);
May you know you are not alone today or ever (unbelievable and truth);
May you always pause to be awakened by the beauty of a small flower (ridiculous and brilliant);
May you put down all that you are carrying to walk lightly and with ease (not me and yes you);
Test your assumptions;
Add an “and” to expand and deepen;
More yes than no and a mix of both;
Gratitude, kindness and love all remain waiting to be released and applied;
Go first (no waiting), stop counting (overflowing), never alone (Amen).
“The feeling remains that God is on the journey, too.” – Saint Teresa of Avila
“Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.” – Mother Teresa
“Love is always bestowed as a gift – freely, willingly and without expectation. We don’t love to be loved; we love to love.” – Leo Buscaglia
Valentine’s Day began as the Feast of St. Valentine to honor the love and sacrifice of early Christian martyrs. One account includes the imprisonment of Saint Valentine of Rome for ministering to Christians persecuted under the Roman Empire in the third century. Another one is of Saint Valentine restoring sight to the blind daughter of his jailer. There are other associations connecting the saint with the advent of spring. With a wind chill temperature of 45 below in Minnesota this morning, I’m going with celebrating the advent of spring soon, please.
Like Christmas, Valentine’s Day has been secularized to sell stuff, with a focus on romantic love. Returning to its origins, you can choose to celebrate the power of all love, the gift of springs in the winters of life. Reflect on those who love you and who you love in return, present and past. Deepen your awareness to the healing, sustaining and transformational power of unconditional love from God, self and others.
Celebrate the power of love today and practice it imperfectly everyday to be transformed. Cast love, light and joy and be open to receive it in return.