Let’s get real. Isn’t it easy to neglect love, to forget to love, to chase after shiny pleasures instead of love, maybe even to love yourself more than anything else? And isn’t that what sin really is?
Mornings and evenings, stumbling along in the rain, I mutter to myself or chant inwardly: “Hear, O Israel: the Lord is our God, the Lord alone. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength, and love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.”
I’ve learned these words and trained myself to repeat them, but inside I’m often wondering: Love God with everything? Can I even do that? Have I ever loved anything or anyone that way?
God has loved me my whole life and more, but I only realized it ten years ago. Still, ten years is more than enough time for love to get a little cold. You let the air stale between you. You forget to call just to say I love you. You give gifts, you make promises, but your heart isn’t in it.
I don’t want my love to die out. I don’t want ritual and obligation and worry to choke it out. I want to fall in love all over again. I want to remember the giddiness of those first moments when I realized something special was happening, that Something bigger than me was drawing me in.
That’s what I feel called to do this Lent: to give up the things that are choking out my love, to make more time just to be with my Holy Beloved. More time to tell the story of our love. More time to find new things to love.
Today, let the ashes on my forehead remind me that I am nothing more than dust touched by the breath of Love. And let me learn again, these forty days, to cling to that Love which is my life.