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We were loved
from before
the beginning.
~Julian of Norwich

 

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Categories: Contemplative Spirituality and Love. Tags: Julian of Norwich, love, and quote. Formats: Monday Moment and Quote.

Ilia Delio on Exploring the Cosmos [with video]

Excerpted from Ilia Delio’s Saturday morning lecture on April 30 One day, I was sitting in my little apartment in Washington DC, and I knew myself to be loved by God, and in that love, I felt myself really free. And so I didn’t have to look a certain way, or be a certain way. […]

Love, the Riskiest of Bets

Today’s post is by Juliet Vedral. It has never been difficult for me to say “I love you.” Maybe this is just my personality—I’m an ENFJ so that’s kind of our stock-in-trade. Maybe this is just my cultural background—I’m half-Italian and in some ways all the stereotypes of being passionate, emotive people are true. I hug my friends when I see them. I hug new friends after we’ve first met. It’s not hard for me to show love. Except when it costs me.

I am now over four months into a relationship that has gone from a casual, “why not?” set-up to serious conversations about serious, life-altering matters. I’ve discovered that the rules of dating are primarily defensive strategies, the cousins of the job interview technique. You carefully edit out the bad to highlight the good. Weaknesses are re-cast to appear as strengths, making you appear wonderfully vulnerable (but not high-maintenance or a mess). Above all, you guard your heart and do not give it away to just anyone.

But the strategies that work in dating will kill a relationship.

Grounded in Gratitude

 Today’s post is by Savannah Kate Coffey “Whatever comes, the great sacrament of life will remain faithful to us, blessing us always with visible signs of invisible grace.” ~John O’Donohue The Bless the Space between Us The days of 2014 are waning and I am venturing a guess that we all began this year somewhere […]

Reclaiming Happiness

Today’s post is by Savannah Kate Coffey.

Happiness may be one of the most misunderstood and maligned virtues of our time.

Happiness is, on one hand, exalted as the supreme goal of existence. There is great pressure to be happy. If you are not happy, your life is not worth living and you must be doing something wrong. Shopping, traveling, and self-help are popular solutions to this problem. There are many paths to happiness and though every path is not right for every person there is certainly one for you and you should keep searching until you find it. If you find yourself still unhappy after about– oh, say, 50 years, or maybe just 50 minutes, you probably need professional help. Of course, sex, drugs, and rock and roll are always available to you. Whichever path you choose, your happiness depends on you, is fully within your control, and it is your responsibility to procure it.

On the other hand, our churches rarely have much to say about happiness because happiness completely misses the point. Life is about faithfulness, maturity, service, and perhaps “joy” (the more respectable cousin of happiness). Happiness is simply a fleeting distraction that holds no lasting value. Life is a test requiring great perseverance. God certainly isn’t interested in our happiness because God is much too serious for that. God wants us to grow up and if we aren’t happy, well, so be it. We are at least wise, mature, and orthodox. We have inherited our Puritan ancestors’ fear that if we encourage happiness we tacitly promote the licentious sex, drugs, and rock and roll mentioned earlier.

The pendulum swings back and forth causing so much confusion that even a sweet, Southern girl may resort to swearing in sheer frustration. Both perspectives are distortions of something inherently good. As distortions they are unlivable. Happiness is either pie in the sky, always just out of reach, or it is the dangerous enemy of mature faith, and as such, is illegitimate. We live either as slaves to the seduction of happiness, or as martyrs in the rejection of it.

What would a livable and faithful pursuit of happiness look like?

Becoming Love

Today’s post is written by Kate Coffey.

I’ve been told there are only two states of being: fear and love. All the other inner landscapes that seem so real are simply shadows of one or the other.

Just as we are rarely aware of the air we breathe, we often consider it normal to live fearfully, barely noticing the weight we carry. We use seemingly benign pet names for our fear: anxiety, stress, concern.

There is plenty of evidence of course to justify our fear. Pain, loneliness, and loss are part of the human experience and no one escapes this reality. All our efforts to survive and to protect those we love will in fact, one day, end in death. And the journey from here to there is fraught with difficulty.