Take a breath, and let it go. Take another breath, and as you let it go, think of those with illnesses that take the breath away. Close your eyes and open them again, and think of those whose sight has gone forever. As you listen, think of the deaf; as you walk, think of the paralyzed. As you laugh with friends, think of the lonely. As you sit somewhere in peaceful beauty, think of those whose lives are dismembered by war. Think of something, and remember those whose minds are gone.
And as you feel grateful to breathe, to see, to think, know that this gratitude is not for others, not even for God: it is a gift to yourself, so that you can take in what you have and make it really your own.
Living on Earth is very hard. The bad guys win too often; the chances that you will harm someone just by mistake are monumental, much less hurting someone by intention. Everything here is just a little wrong, and sometimes a lot wrong. We so miss Heaven, where everything worked, the nasty things didn’t beat down the good ones, and everyone had what he wanted. Earth is very far from Heaven right now.
But: you can always choose to be kind, gracious, forgiving, generous, thoughtful, and fair. You can be considerate of others, and give them the gifts of respect and joy. In short, you can command Heaven to become true here by your actions.
Friendship is a constant throughout the galaxy. Once a friend has been made, it is always remembered. But a friend is not just someone that adds his name to a list. He is the man you can call at three in the morning to pick you up from the airport because your expected ride evaporated, and you need to get home to see your dying mother. She is the one that will support you and encourage you even though she has a blinding headache and the in-laws are coming that very afternoon. Everything of value costs something. Friendship only costs you some compassion.
In a spontaneous universe, love does not need “shoulds.” Nor does it need reasons: God loves us “just because,” without any reasons why. Reasons to love anything or anyone make love to small for God.