I have been studying the lives and words of the Carmelite saints Teresa and John. The concept that I struggle with the most is that of detachment. What does it mean to love totally and with abandon as Jesus loves without attachment? Jesus shows us the way. We are to love God with our whole self and our neighbor too. If the one or thing that I love in my life goes away or becomes angry with me and shuns me, if I am attached, I am devastated beyond repair. I am not free to live out the will of God for me. I may be attached so that I seek the other, my child, my spouse and want only to be with them and when I am not in their presence, then I am lost. I can only think of how to be with them again. If I love without attachment, I gain all. I enjoy those I love and I can let them go too. I am attached only to God and I detach from all that is not God. It doesn’t mean that I don’t love. It means that I love more perfectly without needing attachment or the response of the other. They are free to love me or not to love me and I may always love in return. God is with me and that is all I need. I may love totally and freely in the example of Jesus. God, please show me my attachments and help me to detach from all that is not you. Amen
You each have your own stresses right now. The pandemic has gone on so long. You are working long hours. Caring for little ones. Being there for family and friends. Know that we love you and we are here for each of you.
Cherish our family relationships with each other. None of us are perfect and each of us are special in our own ways. Where you are weak, I am strong. Where I am weak, you are strong. Our family is a beautiful pattern of people knit together by the love you share with us and with each other. Sisters, brothers, sons, daughters, daughter in law and sons in law, aunts and uncles, cousins and friends for life. Our family is strong because of our unconditional love, forgiveness that is granted without strings attached. Grace from God and sharing that grace with each other. Build each other up. Be patient with each other. Communicate. You are loved and valued. No one is left out and no one is left behind. We are each as close as we choose to be. God bless each and every one of you.
If you feel that you have harmed me in any way this year or at any other time, I have long forgiven you. If I have offended you or hurt you in any way, please forgive me. I am meditating daily on First Corinthians Chapter 13. I recommend reading this chapter as the definition of love and kindness. Don’t carry grudges, live your life each day with this passage in mind. It defines what love is and how we should love. Love God, Love neighbor…and don’t forget to love self with all humility. You are a unique, special, beautiful gift of God to the world. Love really is all you need. Be kind. Your words matter. You matter.
1st Corinthians 13.4, Love is patient, Love is kind, it is not jealous. It is not pompous. It is not inflated.
St. Paul’s words to the Corinthians is posted on my bathroom wall to be read often. I am so often impatient, unkind, jealous, righteous, and full of myself that I worry if I will ever get it right. When Paul spoke of Love, he was speaking of Jesus. Reread the passage substituting the word Jesus. It totally fits. Jesus is love.
Substitute your own name and reread the passage. I do that and see my inadequacies clearly. I see where I can love better. And reading it with Jesus’ name reminds me how He loves me even though I don’t love as I want to love. Jesus is patient with me. He is kind.
Oh God. Help me to love others and myself the way you love through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Are you taking your relationship for granted? Pope Francis recently asked young people to have the courage to get married. It does take courage and love and faith to take the leap and get married. Christian marriage takes preparation counseling, planning, bringing two families together. It can get really complicated and people everywhere telling the couple it can’t be done. I tell you it can be done. If you want to be married, seek out couples who are married for advice and stop asking your single friends. We may make it look easy but I assure you it takes work and love and commitment everyday. It takes forgiveness and humor. It takes prayer. So don’t wait too long. Make your commitment to each other. Love each other enough to be vulnerable and trust that your future will unfold and God will be there for both of you.
Oh Heavenly Father, please bless the couples who want to make their commitment but hesitate looking for the “right” time. Help them to seek your blessing and enter into marriage with you as their center through Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.