One word keeps coming to me in my prayer these first days of Lent in 2022: Love.
In our first reading today from Leviticus we hear the great commandment, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
I have long wondered if the greatest crisis in our world today isn’t that we don’t realize how much we are, each of us, worthy of love. We are all God’s own beloved. God loved us into being. God calls us to love one another as God has loved us.
This morning I prayed with a booklet created several years ago by a group in my religious Congregation focused on growing in nonviolence. Each week the booklet explores Lent with the Principles of Nonviolence. The principle for the first week of Lent is: Nonviolence chooses love instead of hate.
Our founder Margaret Anna Cusack wrote in 1874: “Force was no longer to be the rule, except, indeed, the force of love.”
In 2020 Philadelphia singer songwriter Joy Ike released a song called “Wearing Love.” It is a song I return to again and again to reground myself on this journey. (It is also good to dance to.)
Slow your breathing
No more scheming
And everyone will wonder
You did not go under
You were undercover
Keep your words
They won’t fix anything
All that works is the love that you bring
This Lent, and beyond, may I find my ground and center in God’s unconditional love. May I bring the force of that love into my actions and relationships. May I wear love always. Just love.