Love Is

Valentine’s Day is less than a week away and all the commercials and advertising are about love – the romantic kind.  But there are many types of love that are deeper and stronger than the kind of love that is written about in books, movies, and TV.

Romantic love is wonderful but it can be very conditional – a person loves another as long as certain conditions are met.  But true love does not depend on looks, finances, behavior or status.  It is based on truly loving the individual as they are.

It is the kind of love that we attribute to God.  God is Love and for me, that Love does not depend on who or what I am.  The closest thing in our physical world is the love of a dog for its owner.

Dogs do not care what we look like, what is in our bankbook, or if we are successful.  They love us no matter what.

I learned that lesson years ago when I had my first dog, Nike.  I was in the midst of my addiction and I was not a good or responsible pet owner.  I would go out intending to get back at a certain time so I could feed and walk Nike.  Sometimes I did not make it.  No matter what, no matter how much I may have not been there for him, he always greeted me with love and affection and was completely dedicated to me.  Dog spelled backward is God.

That is how I see God’s love.  No matter how much I may have strayed or what I have done, God loves me just the way I am.  That is what makes the story of the Prodigal Son one of the most loved in the Bible.  The father in the story represents God and each of us the Prodigal son.  No matter what happens, God loves us and cares for us.

That is truly a love that can be celebrated!

Quote of the Week

“Love is a force more formidable than any other.  It is invisible – it cannot be seen or measured, yet it is powerful enough to transform you in a moment, and offer you more joy than any material possession could.”                                

Barbara de Angelis

Joy to the World

Joy is in the air! Can you feel it or have you too much to do and too little time?

Don’t miss the joy of the season.  Stop and take the time to appreciate this time of year.  

Visit some homes with amazing displays of lights, moving Santas, snowmen, and reindeers, go to a mall with a Santa to watch the faces of the children as they whisper their Christmas wishes into his ear.  

Can’t do any of that? Watch a Christmas movie – “It’s A Wonderful Life” or “Miracle on 34th Street” are just two of my favorites, but there are many other good ones.

Spend time alone meditating on what this holiday means.  See if you cannot feel a spark of the Divine that was within Jesus also within you. 

Whatever you decide, find the joy within.  Things in your life not as you would like? External things may affect how happy you feel but joy is a gift from God and no matter what the outside conditions may be, joy can always be felt when we take the time to connect with the Source of Joy.

This year make the decision that whatever may be going on, you are not going to let anything take the joy out of your heart.

May you have hope, peace, love, and joy this Christmas.

Joyfully,

Arlene

Quote of the Week

“Just remember the true spirit of Christmas lies in your heart.”

  The Polar Express

The Season of Love

This week we celebrated Love for Advent.  But we are not talking about Love in the romantic sense, we are talking about the kind of Love that is God.  This time of year we see that love in the birth of Jesus, in Mary’s love of her baby, and Joseph’s love for Mary.  

The more we give love the more we receive it.  Giving love, more love, can be a turning point for the soul. Turning points are the blessed moments when the hardships of life’s adversity give way to an awakening to the presence of God.  Often it is a time of crisis but almost always it is when we need it the most.  

Most people underestimate the power of love and how it can be a positive effect on the world around them. But the loving things we do, think, and say, do have a real effect on others.  Love is a powerfully creative force that can dissolve misunderstandings and help adjust inharmonious situations.  

So this holiday season it is important to remember to show people how you feel about them.  You will find the season filled with enough love to flow into the entire year ahead.

Quote of the Week

“Love conquers all things.” 

Virgil