God Is Very Patient With Us While We Learn How To Really Love …

Only an in-depth spirituality can fully accept the paradox of our flawed humanity, indwelled by God’s presence, where both light and dark are allowed and used by God. This is not a capitulation to our shadow self, but an integration that brings forth what Merton called “a hidden wholeness.” We grow through necessary conflicts and tensions. I don’t think there is any other way. Dancing along a self-created primrose path will merely lead you to illusion and superficiality.
— Richard Rohr adapted from Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer from Meditation: God Sees in Wholes, We See in Parts

How to Love

To love without knowing how to love wounds the person we love. To know how to love someone, we have to understand them. To understand, we need to listen …

When you love someone, you should have the capacity to bring relief and help him to suffer less. This is an art. If you don’t understand the roots of his suffering, you can’t help, just as a doctor can’t help heal your illness if she doesn’t know the cause. You need to understand the cause of your loved one’s suffering in order to help bring relief …

The more you understand, the more you love; the more you love, the more you understand. They are two sides of one reality. The mind of love and the mind of understanding are the same.
— Thich Nhat Hanh from How to Love

How to Grow Our Own Hearts

When we feed and support our own happiness, we are nourishing our ability to love. That’s why to love means to learn the art of nourishing our happiness.

Understanding someone’s suffering is the best gift you can give another person. Understanding is love’s other name. If you don’t understand, you can’t love.
— Thich Nhat Hanh from How to Love

Disordered Love

All sin is merely disordered love, which is searching for a pure and true love. God is very patient with us while we learn how to really love. As we integrate and forgive our shadow self, life gradually looks very different. Life becomes many shades of pastel instead of just several primary colors. We finally see what we have never dared look at before. This is the birth of compassion. The journey toward Biblical faith will often feel like losing our vision (note Paul’s conversion in Acts 9) and being given by grace a whole new pair of eyes.

The steps to maturity are necessarily immature, and we must learn from each one of these missteps, and never hate or dismiss them.
— Richard Rohr adapted from Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer from Meditation: God Sees in Wholes, We See in Parts

When you love someone, you have to have trust and confidence. Love without trust is not yet love. Of course, first you have to have trust, respect, and confidence in yourself. Trust that you have a good and compassionate nature. You are part of the universe; you are made of stars. When you look at your loved one, you see that he is also made of stars and carries eternity inside. Looking in this way, we naturally feel reverence. True love cannot be without trust and respect for oneself and for the other person.
— Thich Nhat Hanh from How to Love

Contemplative Practice


Taize: Chant


The Art of Communicating


Seven Thousand Ways to Listen: Staying Close to What Is Sacred


Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer

Open Heart

Since God is, He is to be found in the questions as well as the answers.
― Elie Wiesel from Open Heart

What is the meaning of life? That was all- a simple question; one that tended to close in on one with years, the great revelation had never come. The great revelation perhaps never did come. Instead, there were little daily miracles, illuminations, matche

 

What is the meaning of life? That was all — a simple question; one that tended to close in on one with years. The great revelation had never come. The great revelation perhaps never did come. Instead there were little daily miracles, illuminations, matches struck unexpectedly in the dark; here was one.
― Virginia Woolf from To the Lighthouse

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