Dear Friends and Lovers everywhere,
“Love is patient,
love is kind.”
We’re in a series of reflections based on St. Paul’s Ode to Love (I Cor. 13)
This is also about transforming America.
You’ve seen the bumper sticker that says, “Practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty.
We would transform America inside out if we just were a little more kind to the people we meet each day.
A smile to the store clerk instead of a scowl.
A wave to our neighbor across the street.
A quick phone call or email to simply say to a friend, “You’re thought of, loved and prayed for.”
A thumbs up sign to the homeless man on the street corner.
My mother was very harsh with me when I was a child. There was a lot of yelling in my boyhood home.
So parents and brothers and sisters can think about the kindness issue as well.
And then there’s brash rudeness. I get quite upset when someone answers a phone call of mine with a curt email because they don’t want to talk to me.
And then there’s texting. How much rudeness and downright hurtfulness is spread over the internet!
The more technology we have to communicate with, it seems the less we communicate.
And I have had my own inner work to root out that kind of unkindness, even rudeness, from my own behavior.
There have been times that I was so angry with company greed that I had the store clerk in tears. It helped me realize I had a lot of improvement to do in this area.
With God’s grace that’s happening. I’ve made it a point to transform myself more and more to be kind to everyone even and especially those who are not kind to me. And I examine myself on this at day’s end.
That’s what Paul is getting at:
Let’s just be kind to one another.
It will transform America. Before you go, and especially if you haven’t quite woken up this mornin’ here’s a rousing gospel melody for ya: Put a little love in your heart! Turn up your speakers and be sure to enter full screen and have a great day, whether you like it or not!
Dear Friends and Lovers everywhere,
Many of us are thinking of our Valentine’s these days — our lovers, intendeds, spouses, classmates, mothers . . .
So, what is love?
I have officiated at the marriages of many young couples over the 42 years of my priesthood who have chosen St. Paul’s Ode to Love for their wedding Mass.
It has got to be one of the most awesome pieces of prose of all time.
Take the time to take it in and see how you measure up.
If I speak in human and angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal.
And if I have the gift of prophecy and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge;
if I have all faith so as to move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing.
If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient,
love is kind.
It is not jealous,
Love is not pompous,
it is not rude,
it does not seek its own interests,
it is not quick-tempered,
It bears all things,
believes all things,
hopes all things,
I Corinthians 13
You are Love itself.
We give you thanks for the people in our life who have loved-us-into-the-persons-we-are.
We rejoice in them and remember them in love.
But so many of us are wounded because we have not experienced the parental love
that would allow us to know and experience how to love.
Help us take your servant Paul’s words to heart that we may understand the true meaning of love.
May we have a heart that is open to all persons, all of life, all of the universe.
To You Lord, be glory and praise, now and forever.