How appropriate - on the day after the Vermont House voted in favour of marriage equality - to see in Speaking to the Soul, the reading and prayer - a mantra I used in my spiritual meditation - for the feast day of Richard, Bishop of Chichester, which is commemorated today.
Day by day, dear Lord, of you three things I pray: to see you more clearly, love you more dearly, follow you more nearly, day by day.
With love as the centerpiece, the eyes of faith may move back and forth from knowing the Lord more clearly and to following more nearly by and through loving more dearly. Love is the heart of the relationship. Without love, as Paul put it, all other skills and talents make one but “a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal” (1 Corinthians 13:1), for “the only thing that counts is faith working through love” (Galatians 5:6). Love, reaching out beyond self, is enabled to see and follow more nearly. And here, at the heart of knowing and following, the soul of our human awareness finds at least a measure of contentment in recognizing its deepest desire. It rests in the love and loving of the beloved. It knows that there is no other way of knowing and wishes to follow in the way that there is no other way of going.