I believe that the world was created and approved by love, that it subsists, coheres, and endures by love, and that, insofar as it is redeemable, it can be redeemed only by love. ~ Wendell Berry
Being awake to all that is alive and thriving in the world is a guiding principle of grateful living. When our daily lives are too busy or filled with worry, it’s understandable that our perspective can narrow, that we can forget to look up and out at the world all around. Even when we’re attuned to the larger world, it’s often by way of our news feed of choice, where stories of struggle, violence, and loss far outweigh anything having to do with love.
Beginning today and continuing through the week, make time to seek out, notice, and celebrate the places where love is alive in the world. You might look as close as your neighborhood or workplace, to the larger community in which you live, or as globally as large-scale movements that provide healthcare, food, and shelter; that care for the planet; that strive for equity.
- Amidst the very real challenges in the world right now, where is love thriving? Where do there continue to be extraordinary expressions of generosity, kindness, and service – all embodiments of love?
- As you intentionally tune in to the love that is alive in the world, does it shift how you feel? Does it awaken care and appreciation? Is it reassuring or inspiring?
Share Your Reflection: At any point this week, we invite you to share a headline you come across that’s a meaningful example of how love is alive and well in the world, including any reflection you might like to offer about how you were moved by this expression of love. Please add to the celebration of love by posting below!
Deepening Resource: Love: Life’s Greatest Gift, A Short Essay by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee
Image: Each day of our Grateful for Love practice includes an image of love as expressed through street art. Today’s Photo: Tengyart/Unsplash
Enjoy the full seven-day Grateful for Love practice.
Please log in or Create a Profile to post a comment.
I see love in volunteers
I see love in recycling
A single mom found a way to convert a school bus into a bookmobile for people in the Bronx.
I see love all around me. From the people I meet to the smallest creatures. Everyone has the capacity to love. Some have been hurt and need to trust again. Some love conditionally. Some love whole-heartedly. I hope I’m one of the whole-hearted.
I love seeing how much movement there is in the world for inter-religious understanding. The Universal Worship Service I participate in honors the major religions on one altar, lighting a candle for each, reading from each scripture on a theme, songs, prayers–all emphasizing the unity of religious ideals rather than what divides us.
The above link will share this month’s service on “Be God’s Valentine” i
Heartfelt gratitude to each of you for sharing wonderful resources, inspiring stories, and personal experiences. I’m very touched by what you’ve offered here and am already enjoying exploring new resources. Thank you. You’ve lifted my spirits this morning and oriented me to love — no better way to begin the day.
Love is there in the darkest and most mundane of situations, often expressed in acts of the mundane. I am thinking of those who really listen when others need to talk, making a cup of tea, smiling and saying hello as people walk into the hospital, reading to your kid before bed, ringing to ask how someone is doing.
CBS News began a new series today, a half-hour program hosted by Steve Hartman, who has made a career doing stories that always seem to have a gratefulness element to them. Today, he featured 6 or 7 of his favorite stories about love. Each one was moving. The goodness of others put me in a really good mood.
Two recent articles come to mind: https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/80-year-old-man-walks-through-blizzard-to-rescue-3-cars-of-people/
So much love out there, and people trying to live out life affirming intentions individually and collectively. These two stories are of the type repeated every day on sites such as gratefulness.org, goodnewsnetwork.org, dailygood.org, and karunavirus.org.
Helps me keep the bigger picture…drawing from such a well each day before I start my day brings joy and encouragement, helps me keep my attention in line with intention , sustain energy…
Headlines in today’s local paper, Light Tunnel Celebrates Season of Love, and A Stake in the Future, advocates helped students change their mindsets & apply for colleges.
On August 23, 1989, about 2 million people from Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania formed a human chain that united all 3 countries to show the world their desire to escape the Soviet Union and the communism that brought only suffering and poverty. This power stretched 600 km.
Buddha Doodles posted on Facebook and Instagram. The artist includes reminders to love, be gentle and grateful. https://buddhadoodles.com/
Additionally, our local university has a club FGCU Rocks that promotes acts of kindness on campus. https://www.fgcu.edu/cas/communityimpact/projectrock/
I have a dear friend who is the sole caregiver for her husband who has MS and advanced dementia. Reading the newspaper or listening to it on TV just increases her anxiety. So, weekly, I collect newspaper articles which mark the goodness in life and mail them to her. This last week, I found an article about finding a Bald Eagle living in New York City, one about Latvia reimbursing its Jewish community for properties seized during WW II and a “Tiny Love Stories” from a daughter returning to her home in the Philippines to honor her mother’s memory by slowly doing necessary repairs.
The Wall – that’s the headline. https://www.sdicompanions.org/the-wall/ It’s a story about how what divides can also be a way to find connection. And what is love but the deepest connection there is. To paraphrase Wendell Berry — love is the creative force of the universe; nothing is unconnected to love. If we don’t experience love, it is not gone. We are only lacking the practice that allows us to awaken to its presence. As Brother David Steindl-Rast says: Love is “a lived yes to belonging.” We already belong. It is for us to say yes and to live out that affirmation. And sometimes we say “yes” by staying in conversation with those who disagree. They too belong.
I find The Christian Science Monitor a balanced news source, but Fr. Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditations and all the Center for Action and Contemplation podcasts and other videos and writings most inspiring. Of course, this gratefulness site is also a rich source.