Posts Tagged ‘love’

“The love for equals is a human thing – of friend for friend, brother for brother. It is to love what is loving and lovely. The world smiles.

The love for the less fortunate is a beautiful thing – the love for those who suffer, for those who are poor, the sick, the failures, the unlovely. This is compassion, and it touches the heart of the world.

The love for the more fortunate is a rare thing – to love those who succeed where we fail, to rejoice without envy with those who rejoice, the love of the poor for the rich, of the black man for the white man. The world is always bewildered by its saints.

And then there is the love for the enemy – love for the one who does not love you but mocks, threatens and inflicts pain. The tortured’s love for the torturer. This is God’s love. It conquers the world.”

Frederick Beuchner from The Magnificent Defeat

The personal and collective illness that dominates our time is fear … fear that blocks the health-giving, life-giving opposite, love. Perfect love casts out all fear, said Jesus, and he was most certainly right. It is that, love, to which we should aspire, as it is the remedy for the consequences of its opposite.

The fear that dominates our collective psyche today manifests itself in protectionism, hostility, a rush to arm ourselves to the teeth, 24/7 media streams that attack while numbing the moral sense, a pervading dread that there is not enough to go around and a rush to take all before it disappears.

These symptoms of fear squeeze out the spiritual health of the soul and society. Others are defined as threats who drain finite resources. Imagined forces line up in vast conspiracies. The attempt to destroy opponents drains away all energy that might otherwise be channeled toward creating the good.

All this comes as the consequence of deep fear: the activated reptilian brain living in a perpetual state of flight or flight as we medicate and entertain ourselves to death. Look around. The rot is moving toward the center.

What is first required is a basic recognition of our illness. And then, after recognition, we may turn back toward the source of health and wholeness, which is faith, hope and love. Those qualities will re-shape the inner person and our community of communities. The answer is spiritual at its core, a reliance on the native spiritual energy whose latent potential is able to set us all free.

We need it now more than ever. Perfect love casts out all fear.

Economies of Scale

Posted: June 16, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

Economies of Scale

It is hard and not hard to see
this conquest for
what we think we must have
these captives, ghosts
keeping us captive
in our keeping of them

I love this, we say
and this, and that
even though the word, love,
turns pale and thin
when confused with
what we grasp

To make the adored
a possession
some talisman locked in our fist
creates shadows, little outposts
of me, the other shrinking
day by day

I saw the tattoo on her arm
a name, some lover from
then or even now
and wondered if he
was thrilled to have his tag
on the outside of her skin

The dish breaks, and we moan
remembering when we first
beheld its graceful line
how fortunate its falling
our flinch at the sound
teaching what love is
and surely what it is not

that truth endures, even when covered, even when twisted

that integrity is hard, and staying the course in the face of opposition is even harder

that you must not sigh about the evil intention in yourself, but face it, as you would a person

that you must stare evil in the eye, and not turn away, even when you suffer for it

that all the regret in the world is useless without learning the lessons shown only by failures

that the world is kept sane by the courage of a few people who dare tell the truth to a mistaken majority

that hatred consumes the hater, not the hated

that revenge creates more of the same

that remaining true to one’s vision of life does not always lead to prosperity, but it does lead to peace

that the seed of every human collapse, failure, and tragedy is the lack of love

that attachment to things brings suffering, and that suffering is willing to harm the neighbor

that the easy way is often not the best way

that our view of God is always, every time, less than the reality of God

that the past is not really past, nor the future out of reach, but all really present

that everything is one, and we are one with it

that the world unfolds one atom at a time, in a trillion ways

that kindness is the form of love that transforms the fever of despair

that we are limited most by the limits of our minds and imagination

that compassion cares without harming the other by offering the wrong thing

that there is always more unseen than seen, unknown than known, and undone than done

that every breath is a gift, every step a mystery, and every moment a sacrament

that we have it wrong more than we have it right

that our journey is short, though it seems long

that we can’t control the universe

that today’s worry is sufficient unto the day

that every stranger has a mother

and we are all born of the same womb