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The Rhythm of Life  by Matthew Kelly

  How do you see the world? The great danger is to fall into the trap of believing that the whole world is like the city we live in. The temptation is to fall into the subconscious lethargy of thinking that the whole world is like the street we live on.

If the world's population were proportionally reduced to one hundred people, there would be fifty-seven Asians, twenty-one Europeans, fourteen people from North and South America, and eight Africans. Fifty-one would be women, forty-nine men. Seventy would be non-Christian, thirty Christian. More than half of the world’s wealth would belong to just six people, all of those six would be US citizens. Sixty-eight of the one hundred would be unable to read or write.

One would be near death, one would be just born, and only one would have been to college. By the turn of the millennium, fifty percent of children in the US will live separated from their biological fathers. One-third of the world is dying from lack of bread. One-third of the world is dying from lack of justice. And one-third of the world is dying from over-eating.

What is your view of the world? How do you perceive the world? The way I see it is, life comes down to two simple realities. People were made to be loved, and things were made to be used. Your problems, my problems, and indeed all the world's problems come from our misunderstanding of these two simple principles—you see, we love things and we use people. It would not be too much to dedicate one's whole life to the reversal of these simple realities.

Love is our greatest desire— to love and be loved. We know how to love, because we know how we wish to be loved. It is the central precept and principle of every major religion. It is the answer to every question. It is the solution to every problem.  The answer is never to love less. The answer is always to love more.

The question is, "What do we love?" You can choose not to love the right things, but you cannot choose not to love. We all love—we cannot help but love, for that is what God created us for. Love is what gives meaning to our lives.

Love is the direction of our lives. What you love and what captivates your imagination determines how you live your life. Love is our greatest desire, our greatest need, our greatest talent, and our greatest yearning. Love is our identity. Until we love, we never truly know who we are. Love is natural, original, and spontaneous. Love is power. I once heard it said, "If you could only love enough, you could be the most powerful person in the world."

We hold back that infinite power to love because when it is released—although it achieves all the good in the world—it also makes us vulnerable and ushers in the possibility of suffering. We waste opportunities to love.

In order to love deeply, you must let go of those illusions of perfection, that pretense of being completely in control, and open yourself to that mysterious gift, pleasure, power, and grace we call love. That surrender and openness creates a radical vulnerability. Love is to step beyond the comfort zone.

An excerpt from the Rhythm of Life by Matthew Kelly. Call 740.283.4072 to order by phone. $24 including shipping & handling.

  Read other articles of spiritual enlightenment in the August 2001  edition of The Charismatics or return to the Main Menu by clicking on the blue.