Ode to Love

turtle-puppy love  (c) bob traupman 2009. all rights reserved.
turtle-puppy love (c) bob traupman 2009. all rights reserved.

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

Many of us are thinking of our Valentine’s these days — our lovers,  intendeds, spouses, classmates, mothers, etc.,etc.

So, what is love?

I have officiated at the marriages of many young couples  over the 39 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.

In the coming weeks we will reflect on it a phrase at a 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 inflated,
it is not rude,                                                                                                                                                                                                    it does not seek its own interests,                                                                                                                                                               it is not quick-tempered,                                                                                                                                                                               it does not brood over injury,
it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth.
It bears all things,                                                                                                                                                                                             believes all things,                                                                                                                                                                                  hopes all things,                                                                                                                                                                                             endures all things.
Love never fails.
So faith, hope, love remain, these three;                                                                                                                                               but the greatest of these is love.                                                                                                                                                                                         I Corinthians 13

Dearest God,

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.

Amen!

With love,

Bob Traupman

priest / writer
P.S.  I believe the loving energy of the universe flows through the eyes of the little creatures.  Note that both Shivvy and his friend are looking at you.  When you encounter a little one, take a moment to make eye contact with it and see what I mean.  We need to have reverence and respect for ALL LIFE!!!

(Perhaps you will bookmark this page so you might go deeper into Paul’s words each day.)

I’ve been silent but I’m Here

"The Luminous"  (c) bob traupman 2007. all rights reserved.
"The Luminous" a shot of my car windshield on a rainy night outside of a 7/11 (c) bob traupman 2007. all rights reserved.

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

I’ve been offline for awhile.  Still trying to fold blog-writing into an incredbly busy life for a retired person.  I have a small, quite needy little flock and they have needed my atention this past week.

And I am taking deep into my soul the events of last week — Dr. King’s legacy, and my own long standing commitment to non-violence of tongue and heart, the awesome event of the peaceful transfer of power in our nation.  I am so thankful that our Constitution still works.  God is indeed in control.  I pray without  ceasing for the transformation of our country and we just need to cooperate with the process.

And so there is much hope in Mr. Obama’s presidency.  I am very graterful for his decision to close Guananamo and to stop torturing humans, although the church itself has that dark stain on its soul.   But there is concern as well over the the rights of the unborn.  My approach to life is “Both / And” , not “either / or”.  The issue of abortion is highly complex and we are not communicating well on that issue.  We are divided.  I hope we can come to some dialogue.

Today’s we rejoice in the wonderful feast on the 2000th observance of St. Paul’s powerful influence as a writer. This moring I prayed that he would open a channel to me and guide my pen (or my cursor) that in my small way I could catch others up in the intimate love affair we  have with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  I just humbly ask that I might be influenced by his ability to love and care for the many communities that were in his heart and to write to them individually and so devotedly.  That is the one and onl purpose of this blog and all of my writing.

That was a bit of a segue but I wanted to comment on the insightful reflection that Bishop Michael Saltarelli  (retired bishop of Wilmington Deleware) in this morning’s Magnficat liturgical magazine. He said, “St. Paul understood how to influence non-Christian and anti-Christian mindsets with charity so as to be able to be an instrument of another mind’s enlightenment.

In the abortion debate, we have to stop condemning.  We have to be willing to listen.  And then respectfully dialogue.  With the President.  I believe he is being guided bythe Holy Spirit but needs to have an aha experience And what is the huge task –  with our whole culture.

I have been planning to write him  for over a year now.  The time has come to write it.  But also to our church and our culture as well. I ask for your prayers for the Spirit’s — and St. Paul’s guidance.  It may not turn out well.  It may be of little consequence.  But then again, it might.

Now just a little meditation on the picture above.

A photographer has to have open eyes ready to capture the moment. A second later and the light changes.

A photography notices the interplay of light and shadow and color.

And from a creative pulse that emerges from the depth of the soul the photographer is able to help other’s to see the beauty in simple things like raindrops on a car window, illumined by street lights that somehow capture two of my favorite colors — gold and tiele.  Simple things.  Right in front of us.  Be ready to stop and ponder their beauty.

That is what life is all about for me.

Dearest Lord,

Open our eyes, Lord,

so that we may see the beauty that is right in front of us.

Help us to slow down, Lord, trying to rush to the next place we’re supposed to be at

and miss the life that is happening right now.

Help us to take in the beauty, the wonder within a few feet of us.

Life is but a journey, Lord.  But the destination is not important.

Help us to take in the simple pleasures along the way.

Thank you, Lord,  for you are always present for those who have eyes to see.

AMEN!

IF YOU’RE ENJOYING THIS BLOG (1) leave a comment and (2) share the link with your friends.

With love,

Bob Traupman

priest / writer