Dear LIS Friend,

Matthew 22:39 invites us to sink our hearts into loving on another level—“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” This passage reminds me that the extent to which I’m able to love MYSELF will directly affect my capacity to love OTHERS. In order to fulfill verse 39, I feel God is calling each of us to recognize ourselves as God sees us: lovable and valuable! 

Making the Spiritual Exercises years ago led me to accepting God’s love for me on a deep and personal level. Receiving just wasn’t enough—I had to accept how God saw me which helped me to unpack baggage of unforgiveness that I held against myself. I let go of guilt and regret that I had been carrying around even after giving it to God years before. The more obstacles I gave up, the more intimacy I gained. My freedom to trust God’s love continues to grow as the days and years go by. In  The Church of Mercy , Pope Francis sums up what Matthew 22:39 encourages us to remember, “the love of Christ compels us, but this ‘compels us’ can also be translated as ‘possesses us.’ And so it is:  love attracts us and sends us; it draws us in and gives us to others .”

My prayer for us this month is that Christ’s love “possesses each of us” so we can accept our title as God’s beloved and love our neighbor as we love ourselves.

February brings an abundance of offerings at LIS that just may be the ticket to lead you into a deepening awareness of God’s love for you. I invite you to take a look at them all and find the one that's right for you.

Peace and Blessings,

Lori Stanley
Executive Director