#514 - The Family Gathering
Volume 2 - Prayers to Love Our Neighbor
Dear Father, I'm going to a family gathering. My uncle is a creeper. My aunt is a lunatic. My cousins are jerks. My grandfather tells the same stories over and over. My grandmother constantly whines about this body part or another. Why do I have to go to this? I can't stand these people. I'm supposed to love them? Father, I dislike them so much because they know my insecurities and failings more than anyone else. I dislike them so much because I don't like who I am and I blame them for shaping me into the person I am today. Father, my dislike of my family exists because I have rejected Your unconditional love for me. If I embraced that kind of love, I would be at peace with who I am. I could then be at peace with who they are. I hear You telling me that love is not easy. In fact, if love was easy, it wouldn't be love. True love loves those who are unlikeable. We don't love people because of their characteristics or love for us. We love people because You command us to love them. My family is a training ground for how I'm to love everyone in society. There are all kinds of people who are difficult to love in my community. However, I am still asked by You to love them, no matter how obnoxious and offensive they may be. I get to practice true love through my interaction with my family. Our families are like homework assignments. Our assignment is to practice loving our extended family because You will be checking on our work. Father, help me to love my family. Help me to love their idiosyncrasies. Help me not to be so embarrassed to be seen with them. Help me to see their annoying habits as things that are endearing, human beings being human, just like I am. Amen.
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