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Love Shapes Us

January 4, 2023
A view of the sunset on one of our evening walks along the Intercoastal Canal in Orange Beach.

In his book Whispers From the Sanctuary: A Collection of Contemplative Reflections , Conor McCourt describes how love shapes us. Spirit, you stay hidden, shrouded in the rush of fleeting days. For you dwell deep in the purest mansion of our soul, the place we long to be. From here, you form us into Being as we recollect and surrender our will to the wellspring of your infinite Love. St. Clare of Assisi reminds us in the following, “We become what we love and what we love shapes us.” (p. 5)

As the new year begins I wonder how this love might unfold in my own life, in the life of the church, in the life of this country, in the life of this world. Granted I don’t have much control over it beyond in my own life. However, as I consider it, what I choose to love does in fact have an impact outside of myself. As Thomas Merton wrote in New Seeds of Contemplation, To say that I am made in the image of God is to say that love is the reason for my existence, for God is love. Love is my true identity. Selflessness is my true self. Love is my true character. Love is my name. (p. 60)

My friend Conor along with St. Clare of Assisi and Thomas Merton are offering me some insight for the coming year as I seek to love and serve the Lord wherever I might be. As a friend and colleague in the Air Force Chaplain Corps used to say. I’ll bloom where I am planted. And in the process of blooming my prayer is that love will be at the center of all that I am. That’s a tall order and I know that I will mess up. But when that happens, I’ll pick myself up, dust myself off, and get back to doing the work God has called me to do.

One Comment
  1. “And in the process of blooming my prayer is that love will be at the center of all that I am. That’s a tall order and I know that I will mess up. But when that happens, I’ll pick myself up, dust myself off, and get back to doing the work God has called me to do.” Yes, over and over and over again. Thanks.

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