Therefore once for all this short command is given to you:
"Love and do what you will."
If you keep silent, keep silent by love:
if you speak, speak by love;
if you correct, correct by love;
if you pardon, pardon by love;
let love be rooted in you,
and from the root nothing but good can grow.
-- St. Augustine of Hippo
Come, Spirit, come, our hearts control,
Our spirits long to be made whole.
Let inward love guide every deed;
By this we worship, and are freed.
How then do I prepare for dying? It is not by pious activity, I can assure you, but rather by daring to live, by having the courage to be all I am capable of being, by risking all that I am and all that I have in human relationships. I prepare for death by allowing my self to be know, by trusting others with my life, by opening myself to all of the possibilities of loving and caring. This means that I am willing to become vulnerable to hurt by venturing out of my security shell into the real arenas of life. In this manner of living, my faith bids me to prepare for death. Death is finally overcome not by fleeing it and not by truncating or running away from life. Rather it is overcome by plunging to life’s core, risking all in the reckless gamble of loving vulnerability and discovering at life’s center the secret that opens the doors to timelessness, fullness, perfect love, heaven.
-- From The Easter Moment by John Shelby Spong, p. 223
I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.
-- John 13:34-35
Let us praise the crucified and risen Lord,
who sends upon us the Spirit which makes all things new.
O Word of life,
one God with the Father and the Spirit:
O eternal Light,
who through the working of the Holy Spirit
received from the Virgin our human nature:
O crucified Redeemer,
through your desire to make us anew,
the life-giving Comforter moves among us:
You breathed on the apostles the Spirit of your love,
that sinners might come to know the mercy of God:
You are seated at the right hand of the Father,
from whom we receive the gifts of the Spirit:
Through the power of the Holy Paraclete
you wipe away our sins in the waters of baptism
and open our hearts to the guiding hand of God: Amen.