Saturday, January 16, 2010

Words of Love

I love you, Lord, my strength, my rock, my fortress, my Savior.
Lord, kindle a light for my guidance.
He who serves me will never fail.
Father of love, hear our prayers. Help us to know your will and to do it with courage and faith.

Those are words I read and prayed this morning. They spoke deeply to and from my heart. I yearn to share the comfort they bring me with others. I wish there were someone, there in the quiet, that I could speak these words aloud to, to discuss my Joy at hearing them, the love I feel, received and given, in saying them.

I feel God’s presence, and know He understands. I believe He feels similar thoughts, in part because I believe I have heard him speak them to me – in the words I read and felt this morning – which were no coincidence – and the words I have read and heard Him say in the past. Having once heard and felt those words, I will never forget them. Never. You will never forget real and true love given to you. Never.

I recall the conversation I had with my father a couple of months before his death. He was not ill; he showed no signs of weakness. It was just one quiet afternoon, mom napping, he and I quietly reading. Looking up at him I felt a deep spirit of love come over me. After contemplating this a while, I put down my book and said: “Dad, I want to tell you something.” He sensed my seriousness and put down his book. “Dad, I want to say that I love you. I am proud that you are my father. You have raised me well – although I make myself far from perfect – and you have raised my sister and brother well, also. I know at many times it was not easy. And I can see how much you still love and care for mom, after 65 years. Dad, you are an example I know I can never live up to, but I wanted to say something which I should have said so many times, but maybe just thought you knew, how much I love and admire you. I don’t know how many years I have left to live, but I want you to know that I will always be thinking of you, and trying to be the man you tried to raise me to be.”

I’m sure dad said some similar words to me. I don’t recall the “what” of things said, but I felt the love I gave come back in return. It was good we said those things. Those feelings, unsaid in the past, now became set in concrete in our hearts. That real and true love will never be forgotten. Never.

I think I’ve written some words like these in the past. The words I read this morning, triggering those memories of love I share with Jesus also triggered those memories of my family. On, and I guess recently writing and thinking about my brother and sister contributed to my feelings. And also seeing and thinking of my mom.

Every night as I tuck her in, she never fails to say: “You know I love you.” She is so confused on many days, much of what she says comes from out of the blue, and makes no sense. Sometimes I don’t understand the message she wants to convey, or even WHO she wants to convey it to. But each night, I know her words come from deep in her heart, from an area that will never be confused. She loves me, and knows I love her. That real and true love will never be forgotten. Never.

Sometimes the words I read or hear remind me of the loves I have felt, from my parents, from my family, from my God. But it is the words which were said that set that feeling, that knowledge of the true love, deep in my heart.

It is so easy to assume that someone we love or admire “understands” our feelings. Even if they do, it is not good enough. Some day – soon – in a quiet time, in a time where seriousness can be conveyed, tell the ones closest to you, sincerely, how much you deeply love and admire them. They will never forget. Never.

And in their darkest hours, when they are alone and perhaps suffering, they will remember in their hearts that they are loved. And it will matter SO MUCH to them, so very much.

Sometimes I wonder why I am alive, what is my purpose. One thing I know for sure, a divine purpose of my existence, is to show love sincerely to others. To let them know they are important. It’s one of the most important things I can do with my life. It will make an eternal difference.

Start making a difference with your life, and it will never be forgotten. Never.

P.S. A young woman came up to me at church on Sunday and mentioned that she and her husband pray the Liturgy of the Hours (as I do) together each day, and then I reflected back to the above meditation. I think praying these prayers that Jesus himself prayed cements a relationship of love between a man and woman, and God. If you should wonder how to quietly show love to those near to you, certainly praying together is a great place to begin. Reading prayers like the ones quoted above enables you to feel God’s love for you, and for you to talk about it with your loved one. Prayers like this are not just between you and God, they are prayers of love in the Spirit of Love, uniting all of the Body of Christ, all who are dear to you. May your prayers bring you great peace and Joy.

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