Lenten Reflection Day 13 (Mar 6): HELP (from Psalm 121).
SONG: Help! by The Beatles: https://youtu.be/2Q_ZzBGPdqE
POEM: Ashanti Files: Martyr (excerpt): I don’t want to be a martyr, But I see you calling for my help.
QUOTE: Carl Sagan: In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.
We know what we are, but not what we may be. ― William Shakespeare
When I discover who I am, I’ll be free. ― Ralph Ellison
The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. ― Mahatma Gandhi
He allowed himself to be swayed by his conviction that human beings are not born once and for all on the day their mothers give birth to them, but that life obliges them over and over again to give birth to themselves. ― Gabriel García Márquez
We are braver and wiser because they existed, those strong women and strong men… We are who we are because they were who they were. It’s wise to know where you come from, who called your name. — Maya Angelou
Identity. It’s always God’s first move. Before we do anything wrong and before we do anything right, God has named and claimed us as God’s own. — Nadia Bolz-Weber
SONGS about NAME & IDENTITY:
- In My Life by the Beatles (rock): https://youtu.be/YBcdt6DsLQA
- Underdog by Alicia Keyes (pop): https://youtu.be/izyZLKIWGiA
- Come and Get Your Love by Redbone (rock with Native American roots): https://youtu.be/bc0KhhjJP98
- This Is Me from The Greatest Showman (musical anthem): https://youtu.be/wEJd2RyGm8Q
- Free to Be Me by Francesca Battistelli (Christian/pop): https://youtu.be/EKSQjSdU8VA
- Sing a Song performed by Earth, Wind & Fire (rock/pop): https://youtu.be/HBpsOu8jyU8
- All Kinds of Kinds by Miranda Lambert (country): https://youtu.be/02X8bX_EBv4
- My Life by Billy Joel (blues/rock): https://youtu.be/h3JFEfdK_Ls
- My Way by Frank Sinatra (swing/jazz): https://youtu.be/qQzdAsjWGPg
- I Am Enough by Daphne Willis (pop): https://youtu.be/zm-E33zgxXQ
- I Am Enough by Darnell Peters (Christian pop): https://youtu.be/o-quzpjwXxM
- He Knows My Name by Francesca Battistelli (Christian pop): https://youtu.be/1NHQJWdXfFE
- We Are the Children by Chris Kando Iijima, Joanne Nobuko Miyamoto, “Charlie” Chin (folk): https://youtu.be/_v4Teezq2KE
- Me! by Taylor Swift (pop): https://youtu.be/FuXNumBwDOM
- Songs About Me by Trace Adkins (country): https://youtu.be/dOvRw4dstkE
- Stereotypes by Black Violin (rock/pop): https://youtu.be/WYerKidQGcc
- Follow Your Arrow by Kacey Musgraves (country: https://youtu.be/kQ8xqyoZXCc
- Born This Way by Lady Gaga (rock): https://youtu.be/wV1FrqwZyKw
- Beautiful by Christina Aguilera (pop): https://youtu.be/eAfyFTzZDMM
- Complicated by Avril Lavign (pop): https://youtu.be/5NPBIwQyPWE
- Worth by Jade Turner (aboriginal music): https://youtu.be/wSEHi7uhAeA
- Invisible by Hunter Hayes (country): https://youtu.be/LiUqgL5urWc
- Who Says by Selena Gomez (pop): https://youtu.be/akaRg5C1VO8
- Name by the Goo Goo Dolls (rock): https://youtu.be/QDNka9NOsE4
- What Do You Think About That? by Montgomery Gentry (country): https://youtu.be/tJixs2FoZ_Y
- Mujeres by Julieta Venegas (LatinX rock/pop): https://youtu.be/lqwnuWWs5i4
Songs about the Names of God:
- El Shaddai by Amy Grant (Christian): https://youtu.be/DuXB1a3NBCw
- Jesus Messiah by Chris Tomlin (Christian): https://youtu.be/aZdJjxNHdow
- You Are I Am by MercyMe (Christian): https://youtu.be/2JI4CPfuLW0
- Tremble by Lauren Daigle (Christian): https://youtu.be/OE4X1avLT3E
- What A Beautiful Name by Hillsong (Christian):https://youtu.be/nQWFzMvCfLE
- Agnus Dei by Michael Smith & Skye Reedy (Christian):https://youtu.be/rEWHCkFMfLQ
Please Call Me By My True Names— Thich Nhat Hanh
Don’t say that I will depart tomorrow—
even today I am still arriving.
Look deeply: every second I am arriving
to be a bud on a Spring branch,
to be a tiny bird, with still-fragile wings,
learning to sing in my new nest,
to be a caterpillar in the heart of a flower,
to be a jewel hiding itself in a stone.
I still arrive, in order to laugh and to cry,
to fear and to hope.
The rhythm of my heart is the birth and death
of all that is alive.
I am a mayfly metamorphosing
on the surface of the river.
And I am the bird
that swoops down to swallow the mayfly.
I am a frog swimming happily
in the clear water of a pond.
And I am the grass-snake
that silently feeds itself on the frog.
I am the child in Uganda, all skin and bones,
my legs as thin as bamboo sticks.
And I am the arms merchant,
selling deadly weapons to Uganda.
I am the twelve-year-old girl,
refugee on a small boat,
who throws herself into the ocean
after being raped by a sea pirate.
And I am also the pirate,
my heart not yet capable
of seeing and loving.
I am a member of the politburo,
with plenty of power in my hands.
And I am the man who has to pay
his “debt of blood” to my people
dying slowly in a forced-labor camp.
My joy is like Spring, so warm
it makes flowers bloom all over the Earth.
My pain is like a river of tears,
so vast it fills the four oceans.
Please call me by my true names,
so I can hear all my cries and laughter at once,
so I can see that my joy and pain are one.
Please call me by my true names,
so I can wake up
and the door of my heart
could be left open,
the door of compassion.
Lullaby — Neil Gaiman
Sleep my little baby-oh
Sleep until you waken
When you wake you’ll see the world
If I’m not mistaken…
Kiss a lover
Dance a measure,
Find your name
And buried treasure …
Face your life
Leave no path untaken.
A Star Without a Name – Rumi
When a baby is taken from the wet nurse,
it easily forgets her
and starts eating solid food.
Seeds feed awhile on ground,
then lift up into the sun.
So you should taste the filtered light
and work your way toward wisdom
with no personal covering.
That’s how you came here, like a star
without a name. Move across the night sky
with those anonymous lights.
NAME & IDENTITY
What’s in a name? — Shakespeare
I realize then that it’s not enough to know what someone is called. You have to know who they are. ― Gayle Forman
The thing to do, it seems to me, is to prepare yourself so you can be a rainbow in somebody else’s cloud. Somebody who may not look like you. May not call God the same name you call God – if they call God at all. I may not dance your dances or speak your language. But be a blessing to somebody. — Maya Angelou
I am out with lanterns, looking for myself. ― Emily Dickinson
I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will. ― Charlotte Brontë
We can spend our lives letting the world tell us who we are. Sane or insane. Saints or sex addicts. Heroes or victims. Letting history tell us how good or bad we are. Letting our past decide our future. Or we can decide for ourselves. And maybe it’s our job to invent something better. ― Chuck Palahniuk
I find I am constantly being encouraged to pluck out some one aspect of myself and present this as the meaningful whole, eclipsing or denying the other parts of self. ― Audre Lorde
Each person you meet is an aspect of yourself, clamoring for love. ― Eric Micha’el Leventhal
Feelings are something you have; not something you are. ― Shannon L. Alder
I am not one and simple, but complex and many. ― Virginia Woolf
It’s like everyone tells a story about themselves inside their own head. Always. All the time. That story makes you what you are. We build ourselves out of that story. ― Patrick Rothfuss
We have to be braver than we think we can be, because God is constantly calling us to be more than we are. ― Madeleine L’Engle
What we know matters but who we are matters more. ― Brené Brown
The good news is you are a beloved child of God; the bad news is you don’t get to choose your siblings. ― Rachel Held Evans
Never throughout history has a man who lived a life of ease left a name worth remembering.— Theodore Roosevelt
Bee to the blossom, moth to the flame; Each to his passion; what’s in a name? — Helen Hunt Jackson
Action without a name, a ‘who’ attached to it, is meaningless. — St. Jerome
It is easier to live through someone else than to complete yourself. The freedom to lead and plan your own life is frightening if you have never faced it before. It is frightening when a woman finally realizes that there is no answer to the question ‘who am I’ except the voice inside herself. ― Betty Friedan
Over the years, I have come to realize that the greatest trap in our life is not success, popularity, or power, but self-rejection. Success, popularity, and power can indeed present a great temptation, but their seductive quality often comes from the way they are part of the much larger temptation to self-rejection. When we have come to believe in the voices that call us worthless and unlovable, then success, popularity, and power are easily perceived as attractive solutions. The real trap, however, is self-rejection. As soon as someone accuses me or criticizes me, as soon as I am rejected, left alone, or abandoned, I find myself thinking, “Well, that proves once again that I am a nobody.” … [My dark side says,] I am no good… I deserve to be pushed aside, forgotten, rejected, and abandoned. Self-rejection is the greatest enemy of the spiritual life because it contradicts the sacred voice that calls us the “Beloved.” Being the Beloved constitutes the core truth of our existence. ― Henri J.M. Nouwen
A good character is the best tombstone. Those who loved you and were helped by you will remember you when forget-me-nots have withered. Carve your name on hearts, not on marble. — Charles Spurgeon
WHO DO THEY SAY I AM? – MESSIAH: Commentary
- BibleProject video about the Messiah: https://bibleproject.com/explore/video/messiah/
“Messiah comes from the Hebrew word, Mashiach, meaning “the anointed one,” or “the chosen one.” In Old Testament times, prophets, priests, and kings were anointed by oil when they were set apart for these positions of responsibility. The anointing was a sign that God had chosen them and consecrated them for the work He had given them to do. Christos (Christ) is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew term, Messiah...” — BibleInfo.com
“Indeed, in Scripture, no two people encounter Jesus in exactly the same way. Not once does anyone pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” or ask Jesus into their heart. The good news is good for the whole world, certainly, but what makes it good varies from person to person and community to community. Liberation from sin looks different for the rich young ruler than it does for the woman caught in adultery. The good news that Jesus is the Messiah has a different impact on John the Baptist, a Jewish prophet, than it does the Ethiopian eunuch, a Gentile and outsider. Salvation means one thing for Mary Magdalene, first to witness the resurrection, and another to the thief who died next to Jesus on a cross. The gospel is like a mosaic of stories, each one part of a larger story, yet beautiful and truthful on its own. There’s no formula, no blueprint.” ― Rachel Held Evans
“The idea that a human being–the Messiah–will help usher in the redemption of the Jewish people has roots in the Bible. However, Jewish sources have not, as a general rule, focused attention on the specific personal qualities of the Messiah. Images of the Messiah as humble or as a child are juxtaposed with images of a victorious and wise ruler–perhaps contrasting Israel’s current, unredeemed state and the prophetic vision of the future. In recent times, some Jews have “democratized” the concept of the Messiah, seeing the process of, or the preparation for, redemption in the actions of regular people.” — My Jewish Learning: https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/who-is-the-messiah/
In Abrahamic religions, a messiah (… lit. ’the anointed one’) is a saviour or liberator of a group of people. The concepts of mashiach, messianism, and of a Messianic Age originated in Judaism, and in the Hebrew Bible, in which a mashiach is a king or High Priest traditionally anointed with holy anointing oil. Ha mashiach (… ‘the Messiah’), often referred to as melekh mashiachמל (…’King Messiah’) is to be a Jewish leader, physically descended from the paternal Davidic line through King David and King Solomon. He is thought to accomplish predetermined things in a future arrival, including the unification of the tribes of Israel, the gathering of all Jews to Eretz Israel, the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem, the ushering in of a Messianic Age of global universal peace, and the annunciation of the world to come
Messiahs were not exclusively Jewish, however, and the concept of ‘the’ Messiah as a single individual is a strictly post-Biblical tradition as it is not found in the Old Testament.
The Greek translation of Messiah is Khristós … anglicized as Christ. Christians commonly refer to Jesus of Nazareth as either the “Christ” or the “Messiah”, believing that the messianic prophecies were fulfilled in the mission, death, and resurrection of Jesus and that he will return to fulfill the rest of messianic prophecies. Moreover, unlike the Judaic concept of the Messiah, Jesus Christ is additionally considered by Christians to be the Son of God.
In Islam, Jesus (… romanized: Isa) is held to have been a prophet and the Messiah sent to the Israelites, who will return to Earth at the end of times … — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Messiah
What if Christ is a name for the transcendent within of every “thing” in the universe? The Christ Mystery anoints all physical matter with eternal purpose from the very beginning. The word translated from the Greek as Christ comes from the Hebrew word mesach, meaning “the anointed” one or Messiah. He reveals that all is anointed! Many people are still praying and waiting for something that has already been given to us three times: first in creation; second in Jesus… (1 John 1–2); and third, in the ongoing beloved community (what Christians call the Body of Christ), which is slowly evolving throughout all of human history (Romans 8:18). We are still in the Flow. All of us take part in the evolving, universe-spanning Christ Mystery. Jesus is a map for the time-bound and personal level of life; Christ is the blueprint for all time and space and life itself. Both reveal the universal pattern of self-emptying and infilling (Christ) and death and resurrection (Jesus), which is the process humans have called “holiness,” “salvation,” or “growth.” … — Richard Rohr, more info: https://cac.org/another-name-for-every-thing-2019-02-12/
“Christians have claimed from their beginnings that Jesus was the Messiah foretold in the Hebrew Scriptures…Jesus did not replace or deny the expectations of a messiah previously told …Isaiah 9:2-7 is a well-known oracle, a divine utterance…that uses four royal titles…As we ponder the use of those titles … two things become clear. First, in the witness to Jesus by the early Christians in the New Testament, they relied heavily on Old Testament ‘anticipations’ of the coming Messiah. But second, Jesus did not fit those ‘anticipations’ very well, such that a good deal of interpretive imagination was required in order to negotiate the connection between the anticipation and the actual bodily, historical reality of Jesus.
The oracle of Isaiah 9:2-7 is well known among us because of Handel’s Messiah. The oracle did not anticipate or predict Jesus. There is no doubt that it pertained to the eighth century BCE, the time of Isaiah the prophet. While the oracle might have been utilized to announce and celebrate the birth of a new royal prince in Jerusalem, namely Hezekiah, it is more probable that it pertained to the coronation of the new king.” — Walter Brueggemann, Names for the Messiah
“Jesus was not the powerful or effective Messiah that the Jews hoped for—or that Christians seem to want, for that matter. … The revelation of the death and resurrection of Jesus forever redefines what success and winning mean—and it is not what any of us wanted or expected. On the cross, God is revealed as vulnerability itself (the Latin word vulnera means woundedness). That message is hard to miss, but we turned the cross into a transaction and so missed its transformative message for humanity.” — Richard Rohr, more info: https://cac.org/redefining-success-2017-07-31/
“Instead of bringing about the onset of redemption, messiah will herald its completion. The actual work of redeeming the world is turned to us in history, and is done by all of us, day by day. Messiah has been waiting in the wings, as it were, since the very beginning of history, ready to come forth when the time is right. According to one legend, he sits among the lepers at the gates of Rome–today we would be likely to find him in an AIDS hospice–tending to their wounds. Only when redemption is about to be completed will messiah be allowed to arrive. Rather than messiah redeeming us, we redeem messiah.” – Rabbi Arthur Green
WHO DO THEY SAY I AM? – SON of … MAN? GOD? Commentary
- Podcast series on Son of Man:https://bibleproject.com/podcast/series/son-of-man-series/
- Podcast on Is Jesus God? https://bibleproject.com/podcast/theme-god-e15-jesus-god/
- Animated video on Son of Man: https://bibleproject.com/explore/video/son-of-man/
- Animated video on Who Is the God of the Bible? https://bibleproject.com/explore/video/god-video/
“While the title “the Son of man” is always, except once, applied by Jesus to Himself, “the Son of God” is never applied by Jesus to Himself in the Synoptists. When, however, it is applied to Him by others, He accepts it in such a way as to assert His claim to it. Now and then He Himself employs the abbreviated form, “the Son,” with the same intention; and He often speaks of God as “the Father” or “my Father” or “my Father who is in heaven” in such a manner as to betray the consciousness that He is the Son of God.” — more info: https://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/son-of-god-the/
“Though the Bible does not define its exact meaning, the title “Son of Man” probably refers to the fact that Jesus was perfect humanity. He, as God, came down and lived among us as the perfect human being. By doing this, He fulfilled the Law of Moses and did what no other human being was able to do. By using this title, He is identifying with the people He had come to save.
… The title “Son of Man” was a designation for the Messiah. The Book of Daniel predicted that the Son of Man would inherit God’s everlasting kingdom … When Jesus was on trial and was asked if He were the Messiah, He referred to this prediction.” — Blue Letter Bible, more info: https://www.blueletterbible.org/faq/don_stewart/don_stewart_793.cfm
“Although Jesus is called the “Son of God” we also find this term applied to humans and angels. The term “son of God” is applied to the first man Adam, angels, Israel, those who make peace, and Christians… The Bible often uses the word “son” to mean, “possessing the nature of,” or, “on the order of… Jesus possesses the same nature of God… God the Father, the angel Gabriel, His own disciples, the Apostle Paul, and even the demons acknowledge Jesus as the Son of God. Although Adam, angels, Israel, peacemakers, and Christians are all called “sons of God” the Scripture designates Jesus as the unique Son of God. He possesses the same nature as the Father – God. However He is not a literal offspring for He has existed for all eternity. The Bible often uses the word “son” in the sense of “possessing the nature of.” Jesus is the “Son” of God in this sense- possessing the nature of God. The title “Son” does not, in any way, suggest the Son if inferior to the Father. — Blue Letter Bible:
“Who is this Son of Man? Jon asks if it’s a physical child. Tim explains that it’s actually biblical imagery to depict a class of being. This is a “son” similar to the “sons of the prophets/Elijah” depicted in the Old Testament. Tim says the point of the vision is that Daniel represents a summary of the future hope of the Hebrew Bible, and it envisions the coming of God’s Kingdom as the coming of a human figure (“a son of humanity”), who will sit beside God, share in his rule over the beasts (remember the plural “thrones”), and receive worship from all nations.
… Tim says that the Christian claim of God existing “three in one” and the divine complexity is a thoroughly Jewish idea, but Jews have long debated who the actual “Son of Man” is. Tim says there’s a ancient Jewish author called Ezekiel the Tragedian, who believed that the vision of Daniel’s Son of Man was actually referring to Moses. Tim also says that it’s clear that the New Testament authors believed Jesus is the Son of Man, and they combine all of God’s attributes (word, spirit, wisdom, etc) with the idea of a human being elevated to God’s status.” The Bible Project, https://bibleproject.com/podcast/theme-god-e14-who-son-man/
- Son of God Biblical references reviewed in BibleTools.org: https://www.bibletools.org/index.cfm/fuseaction/topical.show/RTD/cgg/ID/441/Sons-of-God.htm
“Tim outlines the historical path of Jesus. He says that within Jewish culture, Jesus stands unique. For example, in early Christian culture, there were hymns singing songs of praise to Jesus, not just about Jesus. Christians can “praise the name of Jesus” and Paul can use the phrase “maranatha,” which means “our Lord come” in Aramaic. Tim says the point is that Paul can write to a Hebrew or Greek audience with an Aramaic phrase and have it apparently make sense. The significance is that what Jews would have said about Yahweh––“our Lord come”––Christians were then saying about Jesus in Paul’s letters. Tim says that by doing this you are essentially equating Jesus to Yahweh … Tim lays out more accounts of Jesus and says that Jesus positions himself as “Yahweh returning” from the Old Testament. For example in Mark 1:1-3 …“Lord” here is in Greek (kurios), the Greek Septuagint translation of “Yahweh.”… So In Mark 1:9, we’re introduced to Jesus as ‘kurios’.” — The Bible Project: https://bibleproject.com/podcast/theme-god-e15-jesus-god/
Jesus is referred to as the “Son of Man” 88 times in the New Testament. In fact, Son of Man is the primary title Jesus used when referring to Himself (e.g., Matthew 12:32; 13:37; Luke 12:8; John 1:51). The only use of Son of Man in a clear reference to Jesus, spoken by someone other than Jesus, came from the lips of Stephen as he was being martyred (Acts 7:56).”
Son of Man is a title of humanity. Other titles for Christ, such as Son of God, are overt in their focus on His deity. Son of Man, in contrast, focuses on the humanity of Christ. God called the prophet Ezekiel “son of man” 93 times… Son of man is simply a … term for “human.” Jesus Christ was truly a human being. He came “in the flesh” (1 John 4:2).
Son of Man is a title of humility. The Second Person of the Trinity, eternal in nature, left heaven’s glory and took on human flesh, becoming the Son of Man, born in a manger and “despised and rejected by mankind” (Isaiah 53:3). The Son of Man had “no place to lay his head” (Luke 9:58). The Son of Man ate and drank with sinners (Matthew 11:19). The Son of Man suffered at the hands of men (Matthew 17:12). This intentional lowering of His status from King of Heaven to Son of Man is the epitome of humility (see Philippians 2:6–8).
Son of Man is a title of deity. Ezekiel may have been a son of man, but Jesus is the Son of Man. As such, Jesus is the supreme example of all that God intended mankind to be, the embodiment of truth and grace (John 1:14). In Him “all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form” (Colossians 2:9). For this reason, the Son of Man was able to forgive sins (Matthew 9:6). The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath (Mark 2:28). The Son of Man came to save lives (Luke 9:56; 19:10), rise from the dead (Mark 9:9), and execute judgment (John 5:27). …
Son of Man is a fulfillment of prophecy. Jesus’ claim before the high priest to be the Son of Man was a reference to the prophecy of Daniel 7:13–14 … Daniel saw glory, worship, and an everlasting kingdom given to the Messiah—here called the “Son of Man”—and Jesus applied this prophecy to Himself. …
— more info: https://www.gotquestions.org/Jesus-Son-of-Man.html
“While to the common mind “the Son of man” is a title designating the human side of our Lord’s person, “the Son of God” seems as obviously to indicate the divine side. But scholarship cannot take this for granted; and, indeed, it requires only a hasty glance at the facts to bring this home even to the general reader, because in Scripture the title is bestowed on a variety of persons for a variety of reasons. First, it is applied to angels, as when in Job 2:1 it is said that “the sons of God came to present themselves before Yahweh”; they may be so called because they are the creatures of God’s hands or because, as spiritual beings, they resemble God, who is a spirit. Secondly, in Luke 3:38 it is applied to the first man; and from the parable of the Prodigal Son it may be argued that it is applicable to all men. Thirdly, it is applied to the Hebrew nation, as when, in Exodus 4:22, Yahweh says to Pharaoh, “Israel is my son, my first-born,” the reason being that Israel was the object of Yahweh’s special love and gracious choice. Fourthly, it is applied to the kings of Israel, as representatives of the chosen nation. Thus, in 2 Samuel 7:14, Yahweh says of Solomon, “I will be his father, and he shall be my son”; and, in Psalms 2:7, the coronation of a king is announced in an oracle from heaven, which says, “Thou art my son; this day have I begotten thee.” Finally, in the New Testament, the title is applied to all saints, as in John 1:12, “But as many as received him, to them gave he the right to become children of God, even to them that believe on his name.” When the title has such a range of application, it is obvious that the Divinity of Christ cannot be inferred from the mere fact that it is applied to Him.” — more info: https://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/son-of-god-the/
“The Gospels often call Jesus the Son of God. Mark’s Gospel especially favors this term, noting Jesus as divine via His relationship with God the Father. In Matthew 15:15-16, Peter acknowledged Jesus as the son of the living God, a view Jesus affirmed as correct. John 3:16 also famously refers to Jesus as God’s only begotten Son.” — more info:https://www.compellingtruth.org/Jesus-Son-of-God.html
“The New Testament also often refers to Jesus as the Son of Man. Matthew’s Gospel especially favors this phrase, using it more than thirty times. This title highlights both His humanity as well as His fulfillment as the Son of Man predicted in the Old Testament, especially Daniel 7:13-14 related to the coming Messiah.” — more info: https://www.compellingtruth.org/Jesus-Son-of-Man.html
SONGS about LOVE:
- One Love by Bob Marley (reggae):https://youtu.be/g94A1R8xHcQ
- Your Love Keeps Lifting Me Higher by Jackie Wilson (rock):https://youtu.be/mzDVaKRApcg
- What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong (rock/blues): https://youtu.be/2nGKqH26xlg
- What the World Needs Now by Jackie DeShannon (ballad): https://youtu.be/YUaxVQPohlU
- Gentle On My Mind by Glen Campbell (country): https://youtu.be/ETkzK9pXMio
- You Raise Me Up performed by 12 Tenors (ballad): https://youtu.be/wWeVqw7CsIE
- You Can’t Hurry Love by the Supremes (rock): https://youtu.be/uZj032MNIx4
- I’ll Stand By You Always by Bruce Springsteen (rock): https://youtu.be/hwfPtkxF0aA
- Ain’t No Mountain High Enough by Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell (rock): https://youtu.be/-C_3eYj-pOM
- In My Life by The Beatles (rock ballad): https://youtu.be/YBcdt6DsLQA
- I Love Her by The Beatles (rock): https://youtu.be/5tc0gLSSU1M
- Like a Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon & Garnkel: https://youtu.be/4G-YQA_bsOU
- Look At Us by Vince Gill (country): https://youtu.be/uSfjp1ky4Mw
- What Love Really Means by JJ Heller (Christian): https://youtu.be/PgGUKWiw7Wk
Blessing for the Brokenhearted — Jan Richardson
There is no remedy for love but to love more. – Henry David Thoreau
Let us agree
that we will not say
makes us stronger
or that it is better
to have this pain
than to have done
without this love.
Let us promise
we will not
time will heal
when every day
opens it anew.
Perhaps for now
it can be enough
to simply marvel
at the mystery
of how a heart
can go on beating,
as if it were made
for precisely this—
as if it knows
the only cure for love
is more of it,
as if it sees
the heart’s sole remedy
is to love still,
as if it trusts
that its own
is the rhythm
of a blessing
begin to fathom
but will save us
nonetheless.From The Cure for Sorrow: A Book of Blessings for Times of Grief
© Jan Richardson (Wanton Gospeller Press, 2016). janrichardson.com
Beatitudes for Those Who Love —
This prayer-poem is by Rev. Maren Tirabassi.
For Valentine’s Eve, Luke’s Beatitudes
Blessed are you who are poor
with no pink greeting cards or chocolate,
because you love someone with dementia –
for God remembers enough for both of you.
Blessed are you who are hungry for a love
forbidden by family or culture,
by law or religion,
by damage sustained in heart or spirit,
or by anyone who tears your family apart at a border–
because God promises you the taste of kisses.
Blessed are you who are shunned or bullied
in person and online for your body or your abilities,
for you will have a day
when you will see yourself in a mirror
and laugh with joy at how God made you beautiful.
Blessed are you when someone
assumes the fact that you didn’t marry
means you don’t know about love,
or when they call a child you cherish –
“just a foster kid,”
or bar the way of the therapy dog
who holds your heart together,
because your wounds do not fit
or turn you away in tears
from an ex-spouse’s visiting hours.
Re-joy in that day, for you understand
far more than most ever will.
But woe to you who hoard a loving family,
rather than sharing it with the lonely,
for you are consoled now.
Woe to you who expect life
to be all honeymoon,
for you won’t be resilient to disappointment.
Woe to you who laugh at anyone
who is unloved,
or whose love is dismissed –
for you will never be able to take it back
when the tears in your life teach you wisdom.
Woe to you when all congratulate
your penmanship or tech savvy in life,
but you forget the teacher
who once told you to make
a Valentine, not just for those like you,
but for everyone in class,
no, not the teacher in second grade –
the one two thousand years ago.
Rev. Maren C. Tirabassi
POEM — Maya Angelou
We, unaccustomed to courage
exiles from delight
live coiled in shells of loneliness
until love leaves its high holy temple
and comes into our sight
to liberate us into life.
and in its train come ecstasies
old memories of pleasure
ancient histories of pain.
Yet if we are bold,
love strikes away the chains of fear
from our souls.
We are weaned from our timidity
In the flush of love’s light
we dare be brave
And suddenly we see
that love costs all we are
and will ever be.
Yet it is only love
which sets us free.
The Dance— Wendell Berry
I would have each couple turn,
join and unjoin, be lost
in the greater turning
of other couples, woven
in the circle of a dance,
the song of long time flowing
over them, so they may return,
turn again in to themselves
out of desire greater than their own,
belonging to all, to each,
to the dance, and to the song
that moves them through the night.
What is fidelity? To what
does it hold? The point
of departure, or the turning road
that is departure and absence
and the way home? What we are
and what we were once
are far estranged. For those
who would not change, time
is infidelity. But we are married
until death, and are betrothed
to change. By silence, so,
I learn my song. I earn
my sunny fields by absence, once
and to come. And I love you
as I love the dance that brings you
out of the multitude
in which you come and go.
Love changes, and in change is true.
Below we offer the 8 categories of love as understood through a Greek lens: eros (erotic love), philia (friendship), agape (universal love), ludus (playful love), storge (family-kinship love), philautia (healthy self-love), mania (obsessive love), pragma (mature, enduring love). From which forms of love do you draw your strength and connection?
All You Need Is Love — Beatles lyrics
All You Need Is Love
Love, love, love … Love, love, love … Love, love, love
There’s nothing you can do that can’t be done
Nothing you can sing that can’t be sung
Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game
Nothing you can make that can’t be made
No one you can save that can’t be saved
Nothing you can do but you can learn how to be you in time
All you need is love … All you need is love
All you need is love, love … Love is all you need
Love, love, love … Love, love, love … Love, love, love
… Nothing you can know that isn’t known
Nothing you can see that isn’t shown
Nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be
All you need is love … All you need is love
All you need is love, love … Love is all you need …
Friendship … considered a love between equals. — Mateo Sol
You don’t love someone because they’re perfect, you love them in spite of the fact that they’re not. ― Jodi Picoult, My Sister’s Keeper
Friends show their love in times of trouble, not in happiness. —Euripides
We sometimes choose the most locked up, dark versions of the story, but what a good friend does is turn on the lights, open the window, and remind us that there are a whole lot of ways to tell the same story. ― Shauna Niequist, Bittersweet
… friendship is grounded in a feeling that you know exactly who will be there for you when you need something, no matter what or when. — Simon Sinek
One of the most beautiful qualities of true friendship is to understand and to be understood. — Lucius Annaeus Seneca
Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend. — Martin Luther King, Jr.
Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend. — Albert Camus
There’s a kinship among men who have sat by a dying fire and measured the worth of their life by it. ― William Golding, The Spire
There is on the earth no institution which Friendship has established; it is not taught by any religion; no scripture contains its maxims. It has no temple nor even a solitary column … However, out fates at least are social. ― Henry David Thoreau, Walden and Other Writings
To be with old friends is very warming and comforting. — Ian Ziering
In the outworks of our lives, we were almost strangers, but we shared a certain outlook on human life and human destiny, which, from the very first, made a bond of extreme strength . . . At our very first meeting, we talked with continually increasing intimacy. We seemed to sink through layer after layer of what was superficial, till gradually both reached the central fire … ― Bertrand Russell, Portraits From Memory and Other Essays
Eros is sexual or passionate love, and is the type most akin to our modern construct of romantic love. — Neel Burton, Psychology Today
The Greeks, it will be recalled, regarded Eros, the god of love, as the eldest of the gods; but also as the youngest, born fresh and dewy-eyed in every living heart. — Joseph Campbell
Eros will have naked bodies; friendship naked personalities. — C.S. Lewis
Eros is an issue of boundaries. He exists because certain boundaries do. In the interval between reach and grasp, between glance and counterglance, between ‘I love you’ and ‘I love you too,’ the absent presence of desire comes alive. But the boundaries of time and glance and I love you are only aftershocks of the main, inevitable boundary that creates Eros: the boundary of flesh and self between you and me. And it is only, suddenly, at the moment when I would dissolve that boundary, I realize I never can. — Anne Carson
Eros seizes and shakes my very soul like the wind on the mountain shaking ancient oaks. — Sappho
You can’t deny Eros. Eros will strike, like lightning. Our human defenses are frail, ludicrous. Like plasterboard houses in a hurricane. Your triumph is in perfect submission. And the god of Eros will flow through you, as Lawrence says, in the ‘perfect obliteration of blood consciousness. — Joyce Carol Oates
Ludus is playful or uncommitted love. — Neel Burton, Psychology Today
To be running breathlessly, but not yet arrived, is itself delightful, a suspended moment of living hope. — Anne Carson
Don’t ever think I fell for you, or fell over you. I didn’t fall in love, I rose in it. ― Toni Morrison, Jazz
on my mind
for my waist
or my lips
he didn’t call me
he called me
– how he touches me
― Rupi Kaur, Milk and Honey
Pragma is a love that has aged, matured and developed over time. It is beyond the physical, it has transcended the casual, and it is a unique harmony that has formed over time. — Mateo Sol
To fall in love is easy, even to remain in it is not difficult; our human loneliness is cause enough. But it is a hard quest worth making to find a comrade through whose steady presence one becomes steadily the person one desires to be. — Anna Strong
Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses. — Ann Landers
She is a friend of my mind. She gather me, man. The pieces I am, she gather them and give them back to me in all the right order. ― Toni Morrison, Beloved
Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage. — Lao-Tzu
A single rose can be my garden… a single friend, my world. — Leo Buscaglia
The best love is the kind that awakens the soul; that makes us reach for more, that plants the fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds. That’s what I hope to give you forever. — Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook
Love is not a mold that makes two people the same person. Love is the dream that enables both of us to be our own best person—together. Love knows no one can fill up in us what we lack in ourselves. But coming to live what we know about love for the sake of others, as well as for our self, is the one thing that can possibly stop the restless sleep that comes with loneliness. — Joan Chittister, Between the Dark and the Daylight
Storge is primarily to do with kinship and familiarity. Storge is a natural form of affection that often flows between parents and … children … can even be found among childhood friends … — Mateo Sol
It’s a funny thing about mothers and fathers. Even when their own child is the most disgusting little blister you could ever imagine, they still think that he or she is wonderful. — Roald Dahl
Without warning he had become witness to something that stretched back through the eons, ties both elastic and enduring, surpassing death, surpassing life. She was his child. It was as simple as that and that complex. ― Kim Harrison,
You don’t have to have anything in common with people you’ve known since you were five. With old friends, you’ve got your whole life in common. — Lyle Lovett
So it was in Botswana, almost everywhere; ties of kinship, no matter how attenuated by distance or time, linked one person to another, weaving across the country a human blanket of love and community. And in the fibres of that blanket there were threads of obligation that meant that one could not ignore the claims of others. Nobody should starve; nobody should feel that they were outsiders; nobody should be alone in their sadness. ― Alexander McCall Smith
Cousins by chance, friends by choice. — Proverb
I must get my soul back from you; I am killing my flesh without it. ― Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath
Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. ― Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita
I love you. I hate you. I like you. I hate you. I love you. I think you’re stupid. I think you’re a loser. I think you’re wonderful. I want to be with you. I don’t want to be with you. I would never date you. I hate you. I love you…..I think the madness started the moment we met and you shook my hand. Did you have a disease or something? ― Shannon L. Alder
Do love. Don’t just think love, say love, have faith in love, or believe that God is love. Give up the idea that your ideas alone can save you. If you know the right words, then bring those words to life by giving them your own flesh. Put them into practice. Do love, and you will live. — Barbara Brown Taylor
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. — Martin Luther King Jr.
Love is or it ain’t. Thin love ain’t love at all. ― Toni Morrison, Beloved
When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.― Jimi Hendrix
The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved; loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves. — Victor Hugo
“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” AND “I believe God loves the world through us—through you and me.” — St Mother Teresa
There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven’t yet met. — William Butler Yeats
Many can give money to those in need, but to personally serve the needy readily, out of love, and in a fraternal spirit, requires a truly great soul. — Saint John Chrysostom
Love is not really an action that you do. Love is what and who you are, in your deepest essence. Love is a place that already exists inside of you, but is also greater than you. That’s the paradox. It’s within you and yet beyond you. This creates a sense of abundance and more-than-enoughness, which is precisely the satisfaction and deep peace of the True Self. You know you’ve found a well that will never go dry, as Jesus says (see John 4:13-14). Your True Self, God’s Love in you, cannot be exhausted. — Richard Rohr
All friendly feelings for others are an extension of a man’s feelings for himself. — Aristotle
How you love yourself is how you teach others to love you. ― Rupi Kaur, Milk and Honey
It’s all about falling in love with yourself and sharing that love with someone who appreciates you, rather than looking for love to compensate for a self love deficit. ― Eartha Kitt
The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely. ― Carl Jung
The first step is to come home to ourselves. You don’t need to become a Buddha. You need to become yourself. — Thich Nhat Hanh
— Joan Chittister
There is a magnet in a seeker’s heart whose true north is God. It bends toward the Voice of God with the ear of the heart and, like sunflowers in the sun, turns all of life toward the living of the Word.
This listening heart is pure of pride and free of arrogance. It seeks wisdom—
everywhere, at all times— and knows wisdom by the way it echoes the call of the scriptures.
The compass for God implanted in the seeker’s heart stretches toward truth and signals the way to justice.
It is attuned to the cries of the poor and oppressed with a timbre that allows no interruption, no smothering of the Voice of God on their behalf.
These seekers hear the voice of God in the cry of the poor and oppressed, and they “immediately put aside their own concerns” and follow God’s call in their actions.
Monastics cling to the community in order to know a wisdom not their own, to discover the tradition on which they stand, to heed the Word of God together with one heart and one mind—embedded in many shapes and forms, and brought to the fullness of God’s will for them in mind, heart, and soul.
They give themselves to mutual obedience in order to create a common voice— a communal voice— that can be heard above the clamors of self centeredness. And they do the hard work of community-living and decision-making together, “not cringing or sluggish or half-hearted, but free from any grumbling or any reaction of unwillingness”— so that none of the actions taken together are done in vain, so that the Reign of God can come sooner because we have been here.
In a Monastery of the Heart, Benedictine listening honors the function of leadership to point us in the direction of truth, but knows that neither dependence nor license nor authoritarianism are a valid substitute for communal discernment, for seeking truth in the light of one another’s wisdom.
Communal discernment is a holy hearing of prophetic voices among us. It comes out of listening to others and responding to them in the name of God, so that as a community we can move forward together, one heart at a time.
Benedictine spirituality requires careful listening and responding to the Word of God, to the call of the Jesus who leads us, and to the call of the community that is the foundation of our spiritual life.
It is not an obedience that rests on blessed ignorance, or infantile dependence, or reckless irresponsibility, or military authoritarianism, or blind submission in the name of holiness.
A truly listening heart knows that we lose the chance for truth
if we give another—any other— either too much, or too little, control over the conscience that is meant to be ours alone.
And yet, at the same time, mutual obedience, real obedience, holy listening forever seeks the spiritual dialogue holy wisdom demands.
In a Monastery of the Heart, it is the acceptance of wisdom not our own that asks of us the spiritual maturity that listens first and always to the Word of God— and allows the Word to be the testing ground of every other demand made on our lives.
It is obedience to the greater law of love.
An authentic claim to obedience does not deny another person’s independence and autonomy of thought. On the contrary, it hones the seeker for the sake of the growth of the community and the spreading of the Word.
This listening with the heart to the insights of another is not the obedience of children, or soldiers, or servants, or minions. It is the obedience given to a lover, because of love alone.
“As I began to love myself I found that anguish and emotional suffering are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth. Today, I know, this is “AUTHENTICITY”.
As I began to love myself I understood how much it can offend somebody if I try to force my desires on this person, even though I knew the time was not right and the person was not ready for it, and even though this person was me. Today I call it “RESPECT”.
As I began to love myself I stopped craving for a different life, and I could see that everything that surrounded me was inviting me to grow. Today I call it “MATURITY”.
As I began to love myself I understood that at any circumstance, I am in the right place at the right time, and everything happens at the exactly right moment. So I could be calm. Today I call it “SELF-CONFIDENCE”.
As I began to love myself I quit stealing my own time, and I stopped designing huge projects for the future. Today, I only do what brings me joy and happiness, things I love to do and that make my heart cheer, and I do them in my own way and in my own rhythm. Today I call it “SIMPLICITY”.
As I began to love myself I freed myself of anything that is no good for my health – food, people, things, situations, and everything that drew me down and away from myself. At first I called this attitude a healthy egoism. Today I know it is “LOVE OF ONESELF”.
As I began to love myself I quit trying to always be right, and ever since I was wrong less of the time. Today I discovered that is “MODESTY”.
As I began to love myself I refused to go on living in the past and worrying about the future. Now, I only live for the moment, where everything is happening. Today I live each day, day by day, and I call it “FULFILLMENT”.
As I began to love myself I recognized that my mind can disturb me and it can make me sick. But as I connected it to my heart, my mind became a valuable ally. Today I call this connection “WISDOM OF THE HEART”