Friday, March 20, 2009

Loving Neighbor, God, and Self

Greetings fellow Network of Love Lovers!

Greetings fellow Network of Love Lovers!

TGIF!!! I hope, if any of you have a special team you might be following for the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball tournaments, that they are still alive and well, playing for their chance to win it all. Today, I cheer personally for the Marquette and Wisconsin men’s basketball teams as they play in the first round of the NCAA tourney. Go Badgers!!! Go Golden Eagles!!! (I’m from Wisconsin, what do you expect?)



Excerpt from today’s Gospel reading:

Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart…Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” (Mark, 12:30)

Reading this message, I thought of a friend of mine from high school. He is a few years younger than me and his older sister was in my same class. He was probably one of the kindest people I knew in high school, so sincere and well intentioned. But he was sometimes hard on himself. He didn’t really show it, but he struggled internally. In conversation with his sister, I found out that he suffers from bipolar disorder, which makes it sometimes difficult for him to really love himself the way he deserves to be loved. Several times he been in an incredibly low place, considering taking his own life even. These are serious matters and, thankfully, he is doing better, much more stable the last time I checked in with his sister.

My friend, he loves his neighbor–––his love is apparent, so very transparent. Moreover, he loves God. It shows in his being and I recall that it showed through the warmness of his heart. But the love for the self–––the kind of love that comes easy to many of us, the kind of love sometimes promoted in pop culture, was not an easy thing, and I presume is still difficult for my friend to come by.

There is medication that can help him alleviate some of the mood swings–––the moving from feeling high to feeling low–––but he needs the love and care of his neighbors to help him realize that he is deeply loves, that he deserves to be deeply loved. We are called to be that light for such people, for those who need attention at times in their life when they feel isolated, lonely or depressed. It is in giving that we receive love in return–––and then, we pray that in those times when we ourselves our especially suffering to understand or comprehend our own lives, someone else, in the Spirit of God, can be that person for us. We might come to further realize that God is in our midst–––especially in moments of despair.

God come to our assistance and help us. Neighbor, be a lover and show us the tenderness of a God who is living, breathing, real Love.

Peace and have a blessed weekend!

With love,

Your friend bob : )

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