I remember the days of old,
I think about all your deeds,
I meditate on the works of your hands.
I stretch out my hands to you;
my soul thirsts for you like a parched land.
Answer me quickly, O Lord;
my spirit fails.
Do not hide your face from me,
or I shall be like those who go down to the Pit.
Let me hear of your steadfast love in the morning,
for in you I put my trust.
Teach me the way I should go,
for to you I lift up my soul.
The Psalmist, mid lament of all the difficulties they are experiencing, calls out to God for a reminder of God's love, restates their trust in God. and recognizes their need to learn as they say "Let me hear of your steadfast love in the morning, for in you I put my trust. Teach me the way I should go,"
In that short verse is a reminder that love, and the ways of love, may not come naturally, but we need to learn, to trust, and to grow in love. When we are open to the work of the Divine around and within us, then we are being formed in love.
The ways of love can be difficult to understand and to live out - they may involve self-giving, mercy, forgiveness service, graciousness, patience, hope, and so much more. These are not always our first instincts when we find ourselves in difficulty, or confronted with people who we find unlovely and/or unloveable.
Discerning those times when opening up to such love is appropriate, or when we need to step away from those who are toxic or dangerous, is a journey of learning best taken in partnership with God and in community. A journey best taken with and in, and surrounded by love. A safe place, to learn and to live love.
Prayer of St Anselm
O Lord my God.
Teach my heart this day
where and how to find you.
You have made me and re-made me,
and you have bestowed on me
all the good things I possess,
and still I do not know you.
I have not yet done
that for which I was made.
Teach me to seek you,
for I cannot seek you
unless you teach me,
or find you
unless you show yourself to me.
Let me seek you in my desire;
let me desire you in my seeking.
Let me find you by loving you;
let me love you when I find you.