A blog by the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration about justice and peace issues

“What if the mightiest word is love, love beyond marital, filial, national. Love that casts a widening pool of light. Love with no need to preempt grievance.” Elizabeth Alexander

Dear All – I offer the quote above from the inaugural poet Elizabeth Alexander. I offer this quote in the deep delight that this day holds as we turn a page on history and look squarely in the face as a nation all the struggles we face.

Of all the wise, powerful, and beautiful words spoken this morning this one stood out to me as the question and call we cannot fail to answer.  All of ideas and visions for the future shared by different speakers today will not be realized if we come to the table without love.

As St. Paul tells us in Corinthians 13:1-3: “If I speak in human and angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal. And if I have the gift of prophecy and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge; if I have all faith so as to move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing.”

What if love is the mightiest word? Only we together can answer…Peace Liz


Comments on: "“What if the mightiest word is love?”" (5)

  1. Marci said:

    Thanks Liz. I liked the poem a lot. I would love to reread it but cannot find it on the net. Any suggestions? thanks again.

  2. Chandra said:

    “Love that casts a widening pool of light. Love with no need to preempt grievance.”

    Her praise is that we are stepping forward into that pool of light that is LOVE, the profound love that transcends emotional needs, that gives a peace that “passes all understanding”. I certainly agree with this, especially after witnessing a day like yesterday, where we truly stood united in a deep joy and collective healing. Thank you Liz! 🙂

  3. Sarah said:

    What was nice about the poem too was that it talked about love not in grand or abstract terms but in all of its dailiness. Patching a hole, nurturing a child, the concrete and daily face of love.
    One of the images that will remain with me will be Obama at the ball for the armed forces. What do you say to someone who has lost a loved one or a limb? It felt like he was so present and real there.
    Keeping all in our prayers.

  4. Amen! Thanks be to God for this post, that poem, and this truth. The greatest moments of hope in Tuesday’s event for me was when I knew millions (billions?) had been reminded of the power and need to love, and also when “’tis a gift to be simple” was played. Great God-given truths for our nation, for all of humanity.

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