Relationships are made of common understanding and an uncommon depth of attention.
–Joan Chittister, from the Heart, Monasteries of the Heart, January 19, 2020
” Marriage is the truest test — to make a good life with your best-informed critic…”
–Garrison Keillor, “The art of love in the far North,” Garrison Keillor Newsletter, January 15, 2020
Love came down at Christmas,
Love all lovely, love divine;
love was born at Christmas
star and angels gave the sign.
“But if you stop and think about it, what better way could there be for me to actively pursue the God I did not make up—the one I cannot see—than to try for even twelve seconds to love these brothers and sisters whom I can see? What better way to shatter my custom-made divine mosaic than to accept that these fundamentally irritating and sometimes frightening people are also made in the image of God? Honest to goodness, with a gospel like that you could empty a church right out. Yet this, in a nutshell, is the monumental spiritual challenge of living with religious difference—and more centrally than that—of living with anyone who does not happen to be me. “Love God in the person standing right in front of you,” the Jesus of my understanding says, “or forget the whole thing, because if you cannot do that, then you are just going to keep making shit up.” It took my husband, Ed, and me years to make peace with that truth. I keep thinking he likes cities, but that is me, not him. He keeps thinking I like power tools, but that is him, not me. When he is hurt, he likes to be held. When I am hurt, I like to be left alone until the urge to bite someone passes. Now Ed and I operate by our first amendment to the Golden Rule, which is not “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” but “Do unto others as they would have you do unto them (instead of thinking they are just like you).” (Emphasis mine)
— Holy Envy: Finding God in the Faith of Others by Barbara Brown Taylor, 2018
Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditation
From the Center for Action and Contemplation
Science: Old and New
Thursday, November 7, 2019
“…I like to describe this phenomenon as the experiential “force field” of the Holy Spirit. One stays in this positive force field whenever one loves, cares, is in solidarity with, or serves with positive energy. In Trinitarian theology, the Holy Spirit is foundationally described as the field of love between the Father and the Son. When people stand in this place and rest in love as their home base, they become quite usable by God, and their lives are filled with quantum entanglements that may result in very real healings, forgiveness, answered prayers, and new freedom for those whom they include in the force field with them. (Is that what it means to pray for someone?) Conversely, there are people who carry death wherever they go; they can pull almost anyone into their negative force field. (Is this hell?)
I know that when I regress into any kind of intentional negativity toward anything or anybody, even in my mind, I am actually hurting and harming them and myself. Each of us moves things along in the direction of violence every time we fail to love. In one of my favorite books, An Interrupted Life, a young imprisoned Jew in Nazi Germany, Etty Hillesum, says straightforwardly, “Each of us must turn inwards and destroy in [ourselves] all that [we think we] ought to destroy in others. And remember that every atom of hate we add to this world makes it still more inhospitable.”  It surely follows that each of us moves things along in the direction of healing and wholeness each time we choose to love. It is always a choice and a decision.
We must deliberately choose to be instruments of peace—first of all in our minds and hearts. This is conscious quantum entanglement. God is not “in” heaven nearly as much as God is the force field that allows us to create heaven through our intentions and actions.” (emphasis mine)
 For a simple scientific explanation of quantum entanglement, see this brief video from Science News: https://youtu.be/6yfWdb-JOA8.
 Etty Hillesum, diary entry (September 23, 1942), An Interrupted Life: The Diaries of Etty Hillesum, 1941–1943, trans. Arno Pomerans (Pantheon Books: 1983), 180.
Adapted from Richard Rohr, “Quantum Entanglement,” the Mendicant, vol. 4, no. 6(Center for Action and Contemplation: November 2014), 1.
A prayer attributed to St. Francis
Lord, make us instruments of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let us sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is discord, union;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
Grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
…from the cabins in the woods to the condo on the green. So happy I could go and assist in the move.