“I remember one of my seminary professors saying people who were able to appreciate others-who looked for what was good and healthy and kind-were about as close as you could get to God-to the eternal good. And those people who were always looking for what was bad about themselves and others were really on the side of evil. ‘That’s what evil wants,’ he would say, ‘Evil wants us to feel so terrible about who we are and who we know, that we’ll look with condemning eyes on anybody who happens to be with us at the moment.’ I encourage you to look for the good where you are and embrace it.
Whereas traditional friendship (philia) is preferential (to have a friend is to prefer one type of person over another), Christian friendship (agape) is universal, unconditional, and open to all. Likewise, while the golden rule-“Love your neighbor as yourself”-is a good formula for living a moral life, Christ goes further by challenging us to “Love one another as I have loved you.”
-Paraclete Book of Hospitality
“The Son of God suffered unto death,
not that men might not suffer,
but that their sufferings might be like His.”
“While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered with leprosy.
When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground and begged him,
“Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”
“And the whole multitude sought to touch him:
for there went virtue out of him,
and healed them all.” -Luke 6:19
The kingdom of God is within you
O world invisible, we view thee,
O world intangible, we touch thee,
O world unknowable, we know thee,
Inapprehensible, we clutch thee!
Does the fish soar to find the ocean,
The eagle plunge to find the air–
That we ask of the stars in motion
If they have rumor of thee there?
Not where the wheeling systems darken,
And our benumbed conceiving soars!–
The drift of pinions, would we hearken,
Beats at our own clay-shuttered doors.
The angels keep their ancient places–
Turn but a stone and start a wing!
‘Tis ye, ’tis your estrangèd faces,
That miss the many-splendored thing.
But (when so sad thou canst not sadder)
Cry–and upon thy so sore loss
Shall shine the traffic of Jacob’s ladder
Pitched betwixt Heaven and Charing Cross.
Yea, in the night, my Soul, my daughter,
Cry–clinging to Heaven by the hems;
And lo, Christ walking on the water,
Not of Genesareth, but Thames!
The source of hospitality is the heart of God who yearns to unite every creature within one embrace.
-Rule of Life from the Society of St. John the Evangelist
“Stop the glorification of busy.”
“It may be that we have lost our ability to hold a blazing coal,
move unfettered through time,
to walk on water,
because we have been taught that such things have to be earned;
we should deserve them;
we must be qualified.
We are suspicious of grace.
We are afraid of the very lavishness of the gift.
But a child rejoices in presents!”
-Madeleine L’Engle, Walking on Water: Reflections of Faith and Art
Most merciful Lord,
your love compels us to come in.
Our hands were unclean,
our hearts were unprepared;
we were not fit
even to eat the crumbs from under your table.
But you, Lord, are the God of our salvation,
and share your bread with sinners.
So cleanse and feed us
with the precious body and blood of your Son,
that he may live in us and we in him;
and that we, with the whole company of Christ,
may sit and eat in your kingdom.
-The Book of Common Prayer