This I believe
After thirty-five years as a parish minister, I retired and returned to school to study an issue which has haunted me. I am a student in the study of violence and culture. My work has sharpened many of the convictions I have previously held. I believe in love.
Every religion has at its core a doctrine of “love.” I believe that love is at the core of that which God is and what God wants. I choose to believe that God wants what’s best for creation and that God wants what’s best for us. I believe that God wants us to live in harmony and peace, to be concerned for each other and for those who come after us. Much of this we discover when we enter into the mystery of giving the self away…in love.
As a result of my studies, I also believe that anything that is not loving and that does not give hope, is not of God. When love hope, charity are missing, ignored, twisted, we invite duplicity and violence into our lives. All violence is caused by disrespect; all violence is caused by the failure to love and to give hope.
I don’t believe that God operates on economic principles: if you do this then you’ll get that; that misses the point of love. Further, love has been compromised over issues of power.
I believe that in loving we open ourselves to more than we bargain for. Yes, love can cause us pain and disappointment, but love is the key to empathy and to the discovery that life is a rare and precious gift…and finally that each of us reveals the diversity of God in the unity of love.
After thirty-five years of ministry, I only discovered recently that the root of the word “religion” comes from the Latin word for ligament. A ligament binds bone to bone; religion exists as a way for us to be “bound together.” Love is the instrument for this to happen. I believe in Love.
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