Have you ever felt so close to someone that you feel like they are a part of you? Very likely, particularly for mothers (and sometimes fathers/siblings) who have a biological connection with their kids as well as a spiritual one. However, sometimes, just sometimes we feel this way about others who we don’t have the DNA connection to spark this particular fire.

Often this connection is driven by love. We are reluctant to use the word love in society today, at least openly as it denotes some feelings we often want to keep reserved for those either really close to us or to those who might not understand when someone says “I love you”. This does not mean they are making a lifelong exclusive commitment to that person; as we do in the sacrament marriage for example.

In Biblical Greek there are five words which describe love, not just the one we have to use in the English language, therefore the confusion often abounds because of the way the word is applied in everyday use. However, Jesus tells us to “love one another” and does not qualify that with any type of partial inference. We are called to love one another; period.

This short column is not the place to look at all aspects of this call, but we can look at the original premise, seeing those in the world who we feel immensely close to; where that love and closeness becomes a “oneness” with the other. Many of us have spiritual friends who feel as close as family; these do not have to be spouses or lovers, but just those we are at one with. Where our bond together is strong and lasting, through difficulties and problems, someone we can be sure their heart and not just their head is aligned with us. There are no limits to the depth of this love, it’s just a different love than the one we experience in a lifelong marriage.

Perhaps this week we can reflect on those relationships in our lives, and begin to recognize them for what they are. We also could see how many more there might be if we just reduced a natural “reluctance” to show this love for another person. The Bible and our faith calls us to love our brothers and sisters, but we often begin with what separates us, not what connects us.

This love is pure grace, which is God’s love for us communicated. Let this love flow as we prepare for Advent. A time where we wait for the arrival of God’s love made known to us in the flesh; to ascribe this in our love for each other.

Olive grove for unbroken word


In the olive grove, just before sundown,

A path is laid clear, from pickers and carts of old;

Of where I must go when the darkness comes,

To find those who are missing.


And need to return home.

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