Enact love

Jesus of the dramatic word, from you we sometimes hear dystopia

of suns and moons and clouds and skies all falling

And we miss the small words of love that can sustain us through the winter

In the dramas of our news cycles

help us all – parishioners, preachers and politicians –

to enact love in the corners, queues and questions of our day

and in so doing discover you,

hiding in the corner, reaching out,

as you always did, creating community

Padraig O’Tuama, Advent Prayer

We all stumble and make mistakes

Knowing ourselves, in our aloneness and weakness, is the foundation for loving others.  It saves us from the false belief that our identity comes from what we are in other people’s eyes or from what we can do. It also helps us get beyond the caution that can sometimes accompany reaching out. You know the instinctive fear: if we show our weaknesses and vulnerabilities, then we will get trampled on and hurt.  However it is not our strength that is the foundation of community, friendship and love, but a true confidence in who we are, including our failings.

Forgiveness is the name for love practiced among people who love poorly. The hard truth is that all people love poorly. We need to forgive and be forgiven every day, every hour increasingly. That is the great work of love among the fellowship of the weak that is the human family.

Henri  Nouwen