Before you begin your preparation, pause for a few moments and pay attention to your breathing. Slowly take three deep breaths, and remember that you are in the loving presence of God.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, [love] is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
This beautiful passage from Paul is used at many weddings. Yet Paul did not write these words for married couples. The qualities that he ascribes to the virtue of love are for everyone. They challenge each of us to examine our attitudes toward others-family, friends, and strangers. If we live each day with a loving outlook, then jealousy, envy, and anger disappear. We grow into persons who seek the truth and rejoice when it is found. When we make love the foundation of our lives, we discover gratitude at the center.
From my own experience, what is another quality of love that I could add to Paul's list?
What do I find most challenging about living life with a loving attitude? How might I overcome that challenge?
(Speak to God, using this prayer or a prayer of your own.)
Gracious God, the world has great need of your love. Open my heart to receive your grace and the openness that I need to be a sign of your love to everyone I meet.