The peace and joy of advent begin in the heart. When we let go of our old divisions and begin to heal each other, we bear witness to what is worthwhile in this life – living compassionately and doing no harm to each other. Fear is cast out and reconciling love enters. We know what that looks like: overcoming any personal derision or violence, an understanding smile in conversation, a willingness to act responsibly, healing attentiveness in illness, and working together to oppose structures of inequality.
Renew our spirits, O God.
What can I specifically do to help dispel whatever dams the flow of love and acceptance in my heart and the hearts of those with whom I live and work? How can I help to bring about healing?
Fear not, O Zion, be not discouraged!
The Lord, your God, is in your midst, a mighty savior;
he will rejoice over you with gladness, and renew you in his love…
The spirit of the God is upon me, because God has anointed me;
and has sent me to bring glad tidings to the lowly; to heal the brokenhearted.
Peace comes from being able to contribute the best that we have, and all that we are, toward creating a world that supports everyone. But it is also securing the space for others to contribute the best that they have and all that they are.
Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.
Louisa May Alcott
The effect of one good-hearted person is incalculable.
Oscar Arias Sanchez
You cannot make yourself feel something you do not feel, but you can make yourself do right in spite of your feelings.
Pearl S. Buck
What happens when people open their hearts?
They get better.
Each of us has a unique part to play in the healing of the world.
America’s present need is not heroics but healing; not nostrums but normalcy; not revolution but restoration.
Warren G. Harding
Part of the healing process is sharing with other people who care.