At age 19, Richard Maraj was injured in an auto accident. Through his hospital stay and while adjusting to the resulting paralysis, love took on visible form—in the form of his mother.
In a scene in Shakespeare’s romantic play, Romeo and Juliet, Juliet takes her place atop the balcony and says, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Translation: A rose will always be a rose.
More than a famous line, these words remind us that love can never be anything other than love, and it blooms inside our hearts, regardless of sexual orientation.
Such is the case with Annie Scholl and her partner, Michelle, and Rev. Ken Daigle and his partner, JD, two same-sex couples who keep spirituality and togetherness at their core.
Most of us have found ourselves wanting to help someone else through prayer. This is understandable, for it is natural, since love and caring are built into our hearts, to want to help those who appear to be going through a difficult time in their lives. But how do we do this? …
How sweet are the syllables that signify love! The human heart has no deeper longing than to utter or hear uttered the words “I love you!” They are like the sight of land to a sailor long adrift.
One of the great barriers to an experience of God's presence is lack of forgiveness. We justify our anger, and it becomes resentment, and if it is fed long enough by hurtful memories, thoughts of revenge and behavior, it grows into hatred, and a hate-filled soul cannot feel God's love. We may strike out at the other person, but our hands are around our own throat, restricting our ability to breathe peace and harmony into our world. We limit ourselves with our lack of forgiveness of others, but it is also possible to be unwilling to forgive ourselves ...
Perhaps the great prerequisite to meditation, or to engaging in the “love affair with God,” is the conviction that there is a Center within you and within the universe, and at that Center of convergence with the Infinite within you, your self is the emanation or image-likeness of God, and thus totally good. Charles Fillmore puts it thusly: “There is a divine goodness at the root of all existence .... No man is so lowly but that at the touch of its secret spring this divine goodness may be brought to light in him.... This goodness sleeps in the recesses of every mind and comes forth when least expected.”
Some of the clearest insights into the mysterious cosmic energy of love have been revealed by Teilhard de Chardin, the Catholic priest-paleontologist. In his concept of the whole universe and the whole human, he found love to be an attraction exercised upon each conscious element by the Center of the universe, “the call toward the great union, whose attainment is the only real business in nature.”
I signed up with a trash removal service that requires rural customers to mark their addresses on their garbage cans. I took a can of white spray paint and etched my street number on one of the brown rubber cans. I set the can in the back of my SUV, drove it to the end of my road, and left the garbage in the appropriate spot. When I returned to my garage, I was irked to notice that some of the white paint had rubbed off on the back of my seat; apparently, it had not fully dried on the can. But it did dry on my car. I tried to remove the paint, but by that time it was stuck fast.
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens is a well-loved and familiar story to many people. In the character of Ebenezer Scrooge, we are offered an example of someone who is shown how much richer life can be when value is placed on what’s meaningful to the heart rather than the pocketbook.