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

Spread the Care

Fight the urge to withdraw, to fold in on yourself, as if your pain is contagious and might infect someone else. We are here to take care of one another; the care is what’s catching, spreading person to person to person. So take — and give — care.

KEEP MOVING.

— Maggie Smith, Keep Moving, p. 71

Photo: Bluebell Trail, Bull Run Regional Park, Virginia, April 8, 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