- Sunday, May 15: How to Love
[link to full email]: https://mailchi.mp/coutreach/word-of-the-week-may15
[excerpt from email]: To Practice:
- Pray in the manner of Lectio Divina with today’s reflections. What word or phrase strikes you? What thoughts, feelings, memories are stirred within you? What response is called forth? After gently considering these questions, rest in silence.
- In Scripture, the fifty days after Easter were a time when the disciples re-appropriated their understanding of what it means to love. In the light their experience of being loved, they saw things differently and lived differently. Call to mind a time when your experience of being loved changed the way you saw life. In what ways did that awareness change how you lived?
- Love is a practice. How are you called to practice loving someone difficult or different from yourself?
Sunday May 15: How to Love
How am I called to practice loving someone difficult or different from myself? I include the third strand from Leviticus 19:18 to the cord: love myself. I can easier love God and neighbor before I love myself. It wasn’t until I began to truly see myself as beloved of God and love myself that I was able to begin to think of how best to love opponents.
My first step is to bless them (Pierre Pradervand’s for example). For example, USPS has misdelivered three packages in the past two months to unidentified addresses other than mine. I’ve blessed the recipient in their integrity, financial security, may my parcel be a blessing to them, etc. Blessing eased my annoyance.
Last night at dusk a young man delivered one of the parcels to my front porch and left. Gratitude and more blessings pour onto this unknown opponent. I’m blessing the postal service employees before I go to the distribution center to inquire after the other two parcels. It is a very small gesture with great healing power. Let us pour love’s energy into our hurting world. <3 linda
Amen, thank you, Linda. On Saturday I blessed the person who took my smartphone instead of returning it, even with a sticker on it with my husband’s phone number. I am truly sorry for the negative karma this person is accumulating, and for whatever circumstances in their life have them choosing theft over kindness. My practice of love looks like blessing them and moving through the process of getting a new phone without resentment. In addition, I was silently blessing the people at the big-box store who were helping with the new phone. I hardly said a word to them, but at the end of an hour-and-a-half transaction, the woman looked at me and said I was very “gracious and elegant,” even though I was dressed in a flannel shirt and not feeling all that well. I’m sure she was feeling the field of prayer I was intentionally creating. – Pamela
Thank you so much for your reminder of Pierre Pradervand Linda, this sent me scurrying to my bookshelf, only to remember that I lent the book years ago and it hasn’t been returned. I bless whoever it was who had/has the blessing of being guided by it.
May all go smoothly for you at the post service offices.
“Let us pour love into our hurting world”.
usually, the tuesday group cp and lectio anchors me for the week. but this one , read just this morning, dovetails with my morning reflectios. my husband and i went to visit our son and family. i felt unwell the whole time, even into this morning and i am my symptoms are connected to a lot of anger over the behavior of family members. it is only recently that i can access the bodily feel of anger and name it (long time coming, i turn 77 tomorrow). so i sit here this morning, tempted to complain to other familly members to byoass my anger, try to lesson the reaction in my body.
but, for goodness sake, why? better to feel what is mine to feel.
over the years since i committed to 2ce a day centering prayer, i have also educated myself about compassionate listening, am training to accompany others in biospiritual focusing (a source of the welcoming prayer practice), studied the discernment process, and have 45 years, give or take, of therapy and spiritual direction.
yet, it is still so hard to choose rightly. (sigh)
As I begin this week, I am more and more, recognizing “consent melting into surrender”. I am taking Prayer of the Heart with David Frenette. ‘Moving with the breath down to behind and below the navel’ in the Welcome prayer upon my waking this morning brought me into a body consciousness of unconditional surrender. God often prepares me through a dream. In the dream my mother who died ten years ago decided to go back to the house she called home. Initially I was happy. The second time I phoned her she was incoherent, Do make the two hour trip? Suddenly my anger morphs into helplessness. I just can’t do this all over again. I did the best I could, I can’t do this all over again. I awake. Several welcoming prayers later led to this morning. I am not repeating an older pattern. I am actually moving into a new way of being present: body, mind, heart, being; a loving kindness presence (Hesed) which includes people I find intolerable, hard to confront. I am even experience the consolation expressions of positive response to an initiative I launched. The joy of this kind of surrender is not great I have done it. No matter what happens I am on the path… where I am not in charge. I have a felt sense that following this series with David is stirring up spaces within of bodily presence.
- This reply was modified 1 year, 4 months ago by Adeline Behm.
From a deep consolation time last weekend then through centering prayer, lectio divina, Heart intention, affirmation verses; experiencing “as our consent melts into surrender” I was drawn into a new kind of surrender in recognizing how badly I have treated others; hearing Jesus say from the cross ” forgive them they know not what they do”. This week is different, I do need to own this unloving part of me as I hear this Easter time 2022:”As I have love you, love one another”. No excuses just a huge wrapping of courage as these words tumble into the deep abyss within: “It is I who have chosen you, not the other way around”. I am drawn into a new way of knowing. of “accepting people just as they are, because I have/am experiencing Christ’s acceptance just as I am. “Walking with” in a new key. Listening to the Anonymous4, group rendering of “Shall we gather at the River” last Sunday, an introduction to ‘walking with in a new key”.
How did the experience of being loved change your life? I’m going to be careful to define being loved. Just one example: a colleague in the university angered and I cussed him out in the phone when I was drunk. We were obviously not friends who like to hang out with each year.
After I got sober, I had a terrible bicycle accident – my bike crashed and I landed on my head. This same guy found me lying in the street, got an ambulance, made sure june knew where I was, and later visited me in the hospital. He told mid better get a bicycle helmet.
We didn’t ever become friends, but this was an act of love. He probably saved my life – by seeing that I got medical attention immediately. Afar I recovered, I bought a helmet and made sure he saw it.
And I got a lesson in humility.
Thanks Brenda – I like the decision vs emotion distinction.
In the last chapter of of johns gospel when Jesus asks Peter “do you love me?” In the original greek, Jesus uses a verb based on agape while Peter first replies with a verb based on Philios, which is the emotion we have when we hang out with our close friends.
Agape is what St. Paul writes about in Corinthians 13.
And the Good Samaritan is Jesus’ example of love your neighbor. But the Samaritan doesn’t become buddies with the robbery victim. He just pays his hotel bill and goes on his way
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