Monday, February 10, 2014

Valentine Reflections

Some years ago, I was intrigued with an article about a tribe of people from the region of Morocco. The people have a custom that a woman’s father presents his daughter to the local tribe in search of a husband for her.  When she has found the one, she says, “You have captured my liver.”  It seems that the heart is not always the center of affection.  Who knew that other parts of our internal body systems could be the sources of attraction and love? 

Another experience I recall that I’d like to relate to Valentine’s Day is when I was working as a receptionist at a facility that offered independent living and care for those who needed  rehab and other health care services. I always thought it kind of interesting that as a receptionist,  I was getting paid for smiling and answering the phone!  At the same time, I was attending grad school 2 hrs., south in Chicago, and attending once a month classes in training for spiritual direction on the other side of the State. So answering the phone and smiling was a treat.

One day, one of the regular visitors who came daily to see her father said to me: “Don’t you think that you’ve wasted your life?” After taking in her question, I responded: “No, I don’t."
She went on and said, “You could have a husband and children – you have such talent and seem to be so good with meeting people.” (Now get ready for my next response) – I then responded: “Thank you for your concern and comments.  However, one man would never be enough!  You see, I believe and know in my heart that I am called to belong to everyone and no-one!”  She smiled and proceeded down the hall shaking her head and I heard soft laughter as well.

Guess I never had anyone capture my liver, but I just gave my entire self to the Mission of Jesus and God’s people – mind, heart, soul, liver and all!
? To whom or what have you given your all - passion, mind, heart, soul, liver and all?

Writings to ponder:
• “I love you not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you. I love you not only for what you have made of yourself, but for what you are making of me. I love you for the part of me that you bring out.”
                                                                  ~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning
• "There is only one question: how to love this world."
                                                                  ~ Mary Oliver                                     
• The Expression of Love
"You practice, not to forget or to avoid difficult times but to be fully present for all experiences; past, present or future. When the heart is open, soft and tender, the soul is free to the potential of honest expression. It is here that you meet the internal voice which leads you rightfully towards deeper joy and inner tranquility. Don’t be surprised to find that your internal voice may be saying the opposite of what your mind has been selling you all along. This may stir up deep seated fear, but in time and with continuous practice, you learn to trust your internal voice and you find that life is not the rollercoaster ride you imagined it to be but an ever unfolding mystery of the expression of love in all things."  ~ Nirmala

• Love Barges In
"But love is more like an electrical storm than a pension plan. It has scant regard for our rational intentions. When it comes, almost always unbidden, love will upset our comfortable routines. Like so much confetti, it will fling into the air all our fantasies of what our life is meant to look like. What is true of human love is also true of the love divine."
                                 ~ 'Ten Poems to Open Your Heart' by Roger Housden

• "There is no mistaking love. You feel it in your heart. It is the common fiber of life, the flame of that heats our soul, energizes our spirit and supplies passion to our lives. It is our connection to God and to each other."                                                  ~ Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

• "When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too." ~ Paulo Coelho

• “Love builds up the broken wall and straightens the crooked path. Love keeps the stars in the firmament  and  imposes rhythm  on the ocean tides; each of us is created of it and I suspect each of us was created for it."                                                                          ~Maya Angelou

+ + +
• The Seven Wonders of the World  Author Unknown
Junior high school students in Chicago were studying the Seven Wonders of the World. At the end of the lesson, the students were asked to list what they considered to be the Seven Wonders of the World. Though there was some disagreement, the following received the most votes:
1. Egypt's Great Pyramids
2. The Taj Mahal in India
3. The Grand Canyon in Arizona
4. The Panama Canal
5. The Empire State Building
6. St. Peter's Basilica
7. China's Great Wall
While gathering the votes, the teacher noted that one student, a quiet girl, hadn't turned in her paper yet. So she asked the girl if she was having trouble with her list. The quiet girl replied, "Yes, a little. I couldn't quite make up my mind because there were so many." The teacher said, "Well, tell us what you have, and maybe we can help."
The girl hesitated, then read, "I think the Seven Wonders of the World are:
1. to touch...
2. to taste...
3. to see...
4. to hear... (She hesitated a little, and then added...)
5. to feel...
6. to laugh...
7. and to love.
The room was so quiet; you could have heard a pin drop.

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