He would say, “If you come back and see me twenty years from now, I’ll be happy if those words are all you remember.”
Mr. Matthew’s motto was inspired of course by Matthew 22:34-40, which happens to be today’s Gospel reading for the [Optional] Memorial of Saint Louis of France. In this text, Jesus clarifies that love of God and love of neighbor are the two greatest commandments on which everything else depends. To put in another way – without love, we are nothing (1 Corinthians).
The pandemic has shown just how much we need this love in our world. And while it may be challenging to connect with one another right now, there are still ways we can share love with others from wherever we happen to be.
Three Small Ways of Loving God
- Make a holy minute each morning. Center yourself each morning with one minute, in a quiet place, before the day begins. Relax with deep breaths, recite a short prayer if you wish, and invite God into the moment. What do you notice?
- Take in Scripture during the day. Make your coffee break a mini retreat! Many online tools provide daily Gospel readings and short-format reflection questions that can help challenge and inspire your spiritual growth, wherever you are.
- Meditate with music. Is there a special song (or artist) that helps you feel connected to your faith? Consider playing this music at night, as you review your day and the moments where God may have been present throughout.
Three Small Ways of Loving Neighbor
- Check up on someone. A great way to volunteer from a distance is by checking in on someone you know to be isolated right now. Call or send an email – and let them know you are thinking of them. Can you safely offer to support any of their needs?
- Write a thank-you letter. Share your gratitude with someone who has helped you in the past – maybe this is a colleague, a mentor, a coach, or a teacher. They may appreciate hearing from you, even if it has been some time.
- Support organizations serving others. Many nonprofits are working to help clients access healthy food, childcare assistance, and other needed resources at this time. Other nonprofits are working for change around causes such as racial justice, gender equality, and more. Can you offer any time or financial support to an organization you know will help others?
Remember also, we are called to “love your neighbor as yourself.” During this unique and challenging time, are you taking care of your own spiritual, emotional, and physical needs? If you aren’t sure, it may be worth spending some time today writing down a short list of ways you can practice healthy self-care.
If you liked this article, be sure to check out “Living the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy During COVID-19” and “Mental Health and Coronavirus.”