To Love Tenderly

READER 1
"All I ask of you is this: act justly, love tenderly, and walk humbly with your God."
— Micah 6:8

READER 2
"Nothing is more practical than finding God, that is, than falling in love in a quite absolute, final way. What you are in love with and what seizes your imagination will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed in the mornings, what you will do with your evenings, how you spend your weekends, what you read, who 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."
—Pedro Arrupe, S.J.

READER 3
"Some day, after we have mastered the wind,
the waves, the tides, and gravity,
We shall harness for God the energies of love.
Then, for the second time in the history of the world,
we will have discovered fire. "
—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

LEADER

Lord, as we gather here this morning, we listen to the words of the prophet Micah calling us to action, calling us to love. Our culture has so many romantic notions of what it means to love and yet in reality, there is nothing easy or glamorous about love. It often wears the face of an exhausted parent beside the hospital bed of a sick child. It wears the face of a worried doctor or nurse: have we done all that we can do? It wears the face of an administrator under the glare of news cameras: is the decision we have made the right one? It is often not clear to us what the most loving action would be. There is no handbook with consistent rules for what love always looks like. And yet, God asks us not to shy away from the tangles of human relationship. All the direction we receive is this: love tenderly. And so we pray:

LEADER
In the debate and discussions we undertake here, Lord….


ALL
Show us what it means to love tenderly.

LEADER
In our interactions with one another.

ALL
Show us what it means to love tenderly.

LEADER
In all our Catholic hospitals, nursing homes, and health systems, Lord…

ALL
Show us what it means to love tenderly.

LEADER
Hear our plea, O Lord, and answer it by coming to dwell with us. Bless our work of this day, filling it with new learning and rich discussion with one another. In the midst of all the intellectually stimulating material that we engage, challenge also our hearts that they, too, may grow in this time together. We ask in the name of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit:

ALL
Show us what it means to love tenderly.

Related Prayers