“If I could do it over again I would do it with more love.”
I scribbled these words on a piece of scrap paper five or six years ago. Every so often when I am
reorganizing my desk I will see the scrap and think it is recycling—then turn it over, see those
words, and put it back on my desk where I can see it. I can’t remember what I was thinking
about and regretting—a time when I lost it with one of my daughters? Memory of not paying
attention when there was a child’s birthday party that one of them wanted to go to? It was a
laughably small event, but somehow represented for me a general lesson that small moments
reveal our focus as much as the huge blunders.
A favorite commentator, Suzanne Guthrie, writes that this part of the Easter season is the most
“liminal”—the most in-between, the most fragile. The scripture readings are about Jesus
preparing his disciples for his leave-taking: arrest, death, resurrection into a form not
immediately recognized, ascension. Jesus tells his disciples, then and now, that the preparation
for the difficult and bewildering in-between times, the cultivation of attention and care, comes
from the foundation of the New Commandment: to love one another as Jesus has showed love
for the disciples.
Guthrie offers this beautiful poem that sums up the discipline of love. May we all come ever
close to being in Love, moment by moment.
Fall In Love, Stay In Love
Nothing is more practical than
finding God, than
falling in love
in a quite absolute, final way.
What you are in love with,
what seizes your imagination, will affect everything.
It will decide
what will get you out of bed in the morning,
what you do with your evenings,
how you spend your weekends,
what you read, whom you know,
what breaks your heart,
and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.
Fall in love, stay in love,
and it will decide everything.
—attributed to Fr. Pedro Arrupe, SJ 1907-1991