In this season of sentimentality and romantic love, I commend a book of poetry to you: Love Poems from God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West, translated by Daniel Landinsky. Around Valentine’s Day, it can be easy to overdo it on mass produced versions on love, and wind up with a belly ache from the glut of candy hearts and stuffed bears. This is not the true stuff of love. Rather, Divine Love, in the purest sense, is as St. John of the Cross writes, the most “blessed grace I now know.”
What if, in this time of hyper-sensitivity to the heart, you aimed to cultivate and reflect the heart of God in all your interactions? What if you, like Rumi, came to believe that, “It’s [all] rigged – everything, in your favor. So there is nothing to worry about.” Would you then be able to shower that same abundance and generosity towards others? St. Thomas Aquinas asks, “How can we live in harmony? First we need to know we are all madly in love with the same God.”
Too quickly, we forget Christ’s mandate to be his hands and hearts and feet – his body – in this world, and we get swept away by petty incidents and superficial concerns. Rabia of Basra wrote:
“When God said, ‘My hands are yours,’ I saw that I could heal any creature in this world;
I saw that the divine beauty in each heart is the root of all time and space.
I was once a sleeping ocean and in a dream became jealous of a pond.
A penny can be eyed in the street and a war can break out over it amongst the poor.
Until we know that God lives in us and we can see God there, a great poverty we suffer.”
God has gifted and entrusted to us the potent presence of Divine Love. Why do we reject it? Do we believe that we don’t deserve it? Do we distrust our management of such a mighty force? Perhaps we forget that it can manifest as quietly and simply as a breath, a prayer, or a smile.
Again, St. John of the Cross teaches us that, “You might quiet the whole world for a second if you pray. And if you love, if you really love, our guns will wilt.” Beloved, seize this opportunity, this moment, to open your heart, and to share this love.
Posted January 20, 2010
 St. John of the Cross, “Beloved” in D. Landinsky p 302
 Rumi, “It’s Rigged” in D. Landinsky p 85
 St. Thomas Aquinas, “We Are Fields Before Each Other” in D. Landinsky p 129
 Rabia, “Jealous of a Pond” in D. Landinsky p 19
 St. John of the Cross, “If You Love” in D. Landinsky p 317
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