We just have to love harder

by Mary Ann McGivern

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A friend posted on Facebook a sentence about how bad things are in the world, an existential moan. There were a couple of prosaic agreements, then a comment from a woman I've known since she was born, married now and pregnant with her second child: "We just have to love harder."

We just have to love harder. It takes my breath away. How do I love harder?

My television is temporarily offline, so I am spared the Republican National Convention and sensational local news. I listen to the more sedate report of NPR -- but it's news, not prayers, much less love. It's too hot out to spend much time looking at flowers. So I have fewer distractions from loving harder. If only I knew how to do it.

I've been sending "ask" letters to members of the Peace Economy Project, personalizing them, even hand-addressing some of them. That's a labor of love. I know and love many of the people I'm writing to and I care passionately about building a peace economy. So this chore is a part of the praxis of loving harder.

There's a Black Lives Matter demonstration at the Old Courthouse in St. Louis at 3 pm. In the heat that will be physically demanding -- if I go: loving harder by sweating more. I've been reading Claudia Rankine's Citizen, a painful experience of love because she writes so well about the experience of being black in our society. Perhaps that too is a kind of loving harder.

During this whole month of July I've thought about the Holy Saturday admonition in the Divine Office, "Reflect upon your beds in silence." (Psalm 4:4) I've been pretty silent. The whole psalm is an expression of repentance and trust that God's love will make us glad. So again, love harder.

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