Living In and For Love
Do we know that we are made in, sustained in, and meant for love? If not, then what is stopping us? What blocks our recognizing our belovedness? Why do we have so much trouble believing it, taking it to heart?
There are so many forces that prevent our knowing that we live in and for love. Most cultures in 2017 encourage us to be successful, powerful, wealthy, and idolize those who are young, able, and beautiful, (based on the latest perceptions of beauty). The cultural idol of busyness often leads us to favour productivity over our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs. These conditions can lead us to feeling unworthy and unable to accept ourselves as we are, that we are beloved, having been made in and for love. Even within ourselves we can work against this belief; for example our belief in Love can be hindered by our holding of images of the divine that are based on power, authority, and/or fear, (Kushner).
It is not easy to stand against negative cultural and inner understandings, but it is essential for our well being and for the well being of the earth community that we learn to recognize our inner voice of Love that says "you are the beloved." Henri Nouwens invites us to listen to this voice with inner attentiveness so that we recognize having been knitted together, carved, and molded in love, and held in love wherever we go, whatever we do.
I believe that as we learn to recognize this belovedness in ourselves, that we will see this Love all around, in people, creatures, and the entire universe. This in turn can lead us to our highest calling: living a life of love. We, in our own small, unique way will bring Love into the world.
Harold Kushner, When All You’ve Even Wanted isn’t Enough, (New York: Pocket Books, 1986).
Henri Nouwen with Michael J. Christensen and Rebecca J. Laird, Spiritual Direction: Wisdom for the Long Walk of Faith, (New York: HarperOne, 2006).