Enticed Through Love

God always entices you through love.

You were probably taught that God would love you if and when you changed. In fact, God loves you so that you can change. What empowers change, what makes you desirous of change, is the experience of love and acceptance itself. This is the engine of change. If the mystics say that one way, they say it a thousand ways. But, because most common religion has not been at the mystical level, you’ve been given an inferior message — that God loves you when you change (moralism). It puts it all back on you, which is the opposite of being saved. Moralism leads you back to navel-gazing and you can never succeed at that level. You are never holy enough, pure enough, refined enough, or loving enough. Whereas, when you fall into God’s mercy, when you fall into God’s great generosity, you find, seemingly from nowhere, this capacity to change. No one is more surprised than you are. You know it is a total gift.

— Richard Rohr, Yes, And. . ., page 18

Photo: South Riding, Virginia, January 4, 2022

Broken Wide Open

I’ve heard people say they are afraid to love because they might get hurt. I say, get hurt and get it over with! And then keep going. Those songs about mending a broken heart are utter nonsense. A heart is meant to be broken — broken wide open. You do not “mend” a broken heart. You fill in those places with people — and lots of them. Small closed hearts are nothing but trouble. They generate small, closed thoughts. You love in small, insecure ways. Instead, love big. Love wild. And imagine love way beyond romantic fantasies.

— Caroline Myss, Intimate Conversations with the Divine, p. 246

Photo: South Riding, Virginia, November 1, 2021

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

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

Truly Good News

The truly good news is that God is not a distant God, a God to be feared and avoided, a God of revenge, but a God who is moved by our pains and participates in the fullness of the human struggle.

— Henri J. M. Nouwen, You Are Beloved, p. 105

Photo: South Riding, Virginia, April 2, 2021

Love With Skin On

We are being shepherded beyond our fears and needs to becoming our actual selves. This sucks and hurts some days, and I frequently do not want it or agree to it. But it persists, like water wearing through a boulder in the river. Hope springs from realizing we are loved, can love, and are love with skin on. Then we are unstoppable.

— Anne Lamott, Dusk Night Dawn, p. 190-191

Photo: South Riding, Virginia, March 30, 2021