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God’s Love – A Reflection

July 8, 2020
Mary holding Jesus’ body – a statue in Saint Ignatius Church on the campus of the University of San Francisco (USF, my Dad’s alma mater)

A few weeks ago after my Dad had watched the news in his assisted living apartment he told one of the women working in the office all we need is love in this world. I wonder if he was thinking of the Beatle’s song, “All You Need Is Love” when he said that. He shared the story with us later that afternoon. Dad does watch the television news regularly and we often get calls from him afterwards. He shares his frustration and sorrow over the state of the world. Believe me Dad, we can certainly relate to your thoughts and feelings.

When we visited San Francisco and the University of San Francisco back in late February Dad was eager to hear all about the city of his birth and the University where he received his Bachelor of Science in Accounting. He loved that city and school, well actually he still loves it and remembers it fondly. His memories may not always be accurate, but the love he has for his birthplace certainly is. As we continue to journey together through the pandemic and talk on the phone, it shows me how important these conversations are to Dad and to Denise and to me. Perhaps it is a reflection of the love of God being expressed in our midst.

All you need is love… Lennon and McCartney were onto something with that song. It was written and released in 1967. The Vietnam War was intensifying, the nuclear arms race was hot, and Civil Rights demonstrations were happening all around the country. There was so much hatred, fear, racism, greed, and negativity active in this country. Thomas Merton was writing and mentoring peace activists and exploring the intersection of Eastern and Western spirituality during that same time. Sadly, the year after the song was written, Merton died.

As I read, study, and reflect on Merton’s life and writings I find him quite prophetic. His message certainly speaks to the turmoil of these times of pandemic, racism, hatred, and fear-mongering. Just about the time I am ready to sink into the ocean of despair, something calls to me and pulls me out of that ocean. As I sit on the shore drying off and finding renewed hope, the Spirit encourages me to take a deep breath and live a life that is radically different from the world. This call always boils down to Loving God and Loving Neighbor (yes, that includes enemies). That commandment is always paired, for me, with Micah 6:8 — Do justice, love mercy/kindness, and walk humbly with God.

I was reading Merton’s book, The Sign of Jonas tonight and came across this quote. God’s love takes care of everything I do. He guides me in my work and in my reading, at least until I get greedy… (p. 21) This particular sentence challenges me to look at my life and witness from a different perspective.

Perhaps Dad and the Beatles were correct. All we need is love. It sounds simplistic but I believe it is spot on. Just like the song “Let There Be Peace on Earth” (and let it begin with me). Perhaps that love can begin with the divine spark placed deep within us. Perhaps then love, peace, and justice might prevail.

  1. Reblogged this on Anniegoose's Blog and commented:
    All we need is love is love is love is love is love …..

  2. Awesome – love is love is love is love is love is love is love …….

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