- “The first to apologize
is always the bravest.
- The first to forgive
is the strongest.
- The first to forget
is the happiest.
is always the bravest.
is the strongest.
is the happiest.
It seems in today’s world, those simple words maybe be lost, and may be gone in so many life situations. And, when one reflects on all the meanings of Love, one can see how integral it is in all parts of our life.
We see the lack of love every day manifested in road rage and in our political arena, but more importantly, in our own dialogue with others. Difference of opinions are no longer acceptable or tolerated, and discussions with compromise are virtually nonexistent. One’s Selfishness and I know it all attitudes, becomes the answer and the end to the discussions.
We see hatred taking front and center in many situations attacking people’s looks and physical handicaps. Why and how has it gotten to that point in our world today. Some blame it on the internet and obscurity it provides, which allows one to say what is really in their heart. The saying “what is in one’s hearts are the words that come across our lips.” It’s that person in their pajamas in the basement of their own house or their parent’s house, and also “in the name of comedy.” Oh yes, freedom of speech.
” Whatever you did for one of these least of my brothers of mine, you did for me.” (Mt 25:40). We’ve heard this quote quite often as it pertains to the poor and the homeless. We all have driven by the hungry begging for food, or one standing out in the cold and wondering should we have stopped? Do they really need help or are they just looking for handouts? Sometimes we drive by for no known reason, or not even thinking or seeing them. Sometimes we don’t want to go near them for “fear” of what we may get. So how do we change this, and again, why do we think that way? Lack of Love!
One easy answer is the person who lost everything and landed on the streets. He is the one forced to beg to eat; to survive. He has no place to clean up and no money in his pockets for anything. Yes, and they cannot go home for a variety of reasons for which we should not judge. But, by the grace of God and reasons unknown, some were chosen or helped and blessed, to be able pull up his boot straps and climb back; never to forget the one’s still out there trying to get out. The focus of me, money, success and “my needs” blinds one eyes to the others around us. Again, this can be some of the reasons for the hatred in our discussions and dialogue. Does any of this apply to you? Yes, is the probable answer for most everyone, and for me sometimes.
I would offer up to you to make time, even 5-10 minutes a day, and talk to the Lord. He doesn’t ask. He waits for us to start the dialogue. It’s hard to start, finding the words and not knowing if it will make a difference. Speak with the love in your heart and then be quiet and listen. Be patient, and your life will change. Peace and happiness will find a home in you. The thirst will be overwhelming. And with these changes, hopefully 5-10 minutes is not enough time.
Years can be shorter than days! Just start and trust. Let the love grow in your heart and be sure to share it!
” Am I afraid of the cost to follow?
Why am I still standing here?
What if I gave everything to you?
I need to stop holding back!
Are you calling me out to deeper waters?
Why am I still standing here?
What of I gave everything
I am tired of standing here
I want to see some mountains moved.
You have given the faith needed to move mountains and more.
Ready to give everything.
Good-Bye to standing here.”
O my Lord, I am ready to say good-bye. I am ready to move forward, but where do I start. How do I know this is the way; the way to you. As you know there were many paths before that I took. And yes, I knew best only to quickly find out the opposite. Hard to admit, but when you at the end of nowhere, you know are totally lost and don’t know what to do. No idea to how to get back, or do I go forward hoping for that off ramp. How do I find you Lord? I know it is you want. My heart tell me to keep searching; don’t give up, but how do I know that I will not repeat mistakes of the past. I’m tired Lord and do not want to end up nowhere again.
Why did I not see the obvious? How could I be so wrong, when the answer was in front of me all the time. Why did I let myself get in front of myself? Yes, did I put myself in front of the answer?
It is like looking at a painting of words that is black and white. It appears all jumble up; means nothing. You stare and stare and it always looks the same. And yes, I finally see what it says. And ever time I look again, I can only see it this way now. Never will see it as it was before.
And yes Lord, I abandoned my soul to you through faith and trust. I took myself out of always knowing the way or the best answer. As I walk now on a new path, I know and feel, it is the correct way. The picture is clear. It is the only way I can see it now. With my soul abandoned to you, it is clear Lord.
“All of me, for all You are.
” Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy,
it does not boast, it is not proud.
It does not dishonor others. It is not self-seeking,
it is not easily angered, it keeps no record
Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with
It always protects, always trust, always hopes,
(1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NIV
Find a way!
We are all called by God to live a just life following the Laws of God, and I believe the most important, can be summed up in Love and Forgiveness. The laws of The Commandments; “Thou shall not steal, Thou shall not kill… speak of what not to do, and yes, we need to obey. However, they “don’t move us to love more; they just keep us from failing to love.
True love overtakes us and leads us to do more than we ever thought possible of ourselves. We can develop patience, forgiveness and kindness over and over. It allows us to Forget, truly Forget grudges and past wrongs. What God is asking of us, is no more than he is doing for us and our failings.
What are some small ways we can move forward showing our love especially for our neighbors, or those strangers that cross our path every day for a reason? And how can we show it whether they see it or not?
It is a love with patience for someone who doesn’t get it or is incapable of understanding. It is understanding someone who has a different opinion or perspective than we do. It is that act of kindness like holding the door for someone and smiling at them. A few kind words to someone you pass by, as that maybe the only person they have in their life that day to talk too. A compliment to someone you don’t know to make their day, or just a simple thank you. A kind word of “Keep Smiling” that always evokes a surprise and a smile from them. Hopefully, you have made their day!
An easy scripture to remember that you can carry with you all day is ‘You shall love.” (Romans 13:9) Yes, I fail at times, as there are people I have tried to live with what I have noted above. But in a particular case, I have failed for years with a certain neighbor. But, I am still called to keep trying as these situations ring true to me: “Make us know the shortness of life/that we may gain wisdom of the heart.” (Ps. 90:12)
I recently participated in the Year of Mercy by attending the ceremonies and Mass for the relics of St. Maria Goretti. A very moving time and an overwhelming experience of forgiveness. Learning how to forgive and forget. Many miracles of recent times were shared with those in attendance, and in this special time, it was impossible for anyone to leave and not further embrace Love and Forgiveness.
I am noting some very powerful words that speak to Love below by Etty Hillesum:
“There is a passage in the Bible from which I always draw new strength. I think it goes something like: “He that loveth me, let him forsake his father and mother:” Last night I had to struggle again not to be overwhelmed by the pity I had for my parents, since it would paralyze me if I gave in to it. I know that we must not lose ourselves so completely in grief and concern for our families that we have little thought or love left for our neighbors. More and more I tend toward the idea that love for everyone who may cross my path, love for everyone made in God’s image, must rise above love for blood relatives. Please don’t misunderstand me. It may seem unnatural-and I see that it is still far too difficult for me to write about, though so simple to live.”
(Words by Etty Hillesum from Amsterdam, Holland and put to death in Auschwitz.)
And as the time ended with the ceremony for St. Maria Goretti, the Saint Child who shows us how to forgive, a speaker ended on this powerful and reflecting note. For those who pray the Our Father every day, and does not subscribe to forgiveness as we are asked, the speaker said: “I dare you pray for forgiveness; yes I dare you to pray for forgiveness.” As it goes in the Our Father, “give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespasses again us.”
So how do we ask God for forgiveness, when we are not willing to forgive. We will see.
Find A Way!!
Fathers with Daughters
“A father holds his
daughter’s hand for a
short while, but he
holds her heart forever.
Today a bride,
Tomorrow a wife,
Always your little girl.”
Find A way!
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