People Who Love Poorly

Forgiveness is the name of love practiced among people who love poorly. The hard truth is that all people love poorly. We need to forgive and be forgiven every day, every hour increasingly. That is the great work of love among the fellowship of the weak that is the human family.

— Henri Nouwen, You Are the Beloved, p. 264

Photo: South Riding, Virginia, August 30, 2021

Joy as Antidote

Of one thing I am sure. Complaining is self-perpetuating and counterproductive. Whenever I express my complaints in the hope of evoking pity and receiving the satisfaction I so much desire, the result is always the opposite of what I tried to get. A complainer is hard to live with, and very few people know how to respond to the complaints made by a self-rejecting person. The tragedy is that, often, the complaint, once expressed, leads to that which is most feared: further rejection. . . . Joy and resentment cannot coexist.

— Henri J. M. Nouwen, You Are Beloved, p. 170 (from The Return of the Prodigal Son)

Do It with Love.

Whatever you do, do it with love. If you can’t feel love in your heart, then go for kindness, respect, patience — or stay silent. As difficult as it is to comprehend — and I grant you, it is difficult if not impossible to believe — absolutely everything in our lives is a stage set up for love.

— Caroline Myss, Intimate Conversations with the Divine, p. 262

Plant Seeds

It is impossible to know, in the moment, how a small act of goodness will reverberate through time. The notion is empowering and it is frightening — because it means that we’re all capable of changing the world, and responsible for finding those opportunities to protect, feed, grow, and guide love. We can all plant seeds, though only some of us may be so lucky as to sit in their shade. Since we can’t start twenty years ago, the best time to start is today.

— Bishop Michael Curry, Love Is the Way, p. 139

Photo: South Riding, Virginia, April 2, 2021