Dr. Scott Peck on Love

October 3, 2009 - 10:11 am 10 Comments
Children’s story: St. Francis and The Wolf
Who was St. Francis? When you look at all these different pictures of him, what kind of person do you think he was?
I want to tell you a short story, that comes from your RE class on Holy Days and Holidays, about Francis and the wolf, and how he showed us that love overcomes fear…
There once was a little town near where Francis lived and taught.
The people of that town were not happy, they really were sad and afraid!
You see, there was this big, fierce gray wolf that walked and stalked, and growled all around the town… What does fierce look like?
That’s right, the wolf would bear his teeth, and the people would run, put their sheep in the barn, stay inside, and bolt all the doors! They did not know what to do, or what the wolf wanted from them…
So, some of the townspeople went to Francis, and asked him for his advice. They knew of his reputation of being able to talk to the animals, and that he was such a peaceful person, he might know what they should do.
So Francis said he would come over, and soon Francis began walking all around the town… One evening, Francis came face to face with the wolf!
And the large gray wolf began to growl and show his teeth to make Francis afraid, but Francis calmly stood there, and showed that he wasn’t afraid !
Francis knew that often when someone snaps or growls, that it was just the wolf’s way to say, “I need some love!” And if the people won’t love me, then at least, I can make them fear me!” Francis saw that behind unhappiness and anger there is often a need to be understood… Francis reached into his cloak for some bread, and gently held it out to the wolf to eat.
The wolf was amazed at Francis’s kindness! Francis then patted the wolf, and the wolf felt relaxed and glad. Francis quoted the Song of Songs to the wolf, saying that love is stronger than death, stronger than fear, and that hate is often the lack of love.
From that evening on, the wolf began to follow Francis all around the town… And gradually the wolf became more tame and trusting. All of the townspeople were amazed; they began to relax, unbolt their doors, and the children came out to play, and soon, happiness returned to the streets and town square.
Then it was time for Francis to leave. So he asked his brother, the wolf, to stay and protect the very people he once threatened. The wolf agreed, and in appreciation, the townspeople set out all their table scraps so the wolf would feel loved and well fed. He soon became the town’s pet!
Through Francis’s love and courage to face and then go beyond fear, the prophecy of Micah, where the wolf and the lamb are together was made real and true. Whenever we can turn fear into love, and treat animals and one another with kindness, we will heal our hearts, and become happy….
Blessing For The Animals….
Spirit of Life, and of Love, we ask you to bless these animals that live with us. We pledge to look after them and treat them with kindness. We now bless these animals, in the name of St. Francis, who loved all the creatures of the earth.”

Dr. Scott Peck: On Love

When anyone attempts to speak about Francis of Assisi, one cannot help but be struck by his effulgent love, and sense of endless grace. As Universalists, we can agree with Dr. Scott Peck, the eminent psychiatrist, who looks at the difficulty of our lives, and at the definition of love as a transformational force.

In The Road Less Traveled, he writes:

[“What is this force that pushes us to grow against the ego resistance’s of our own lethargy? It is love. Love is defined as “the will to extend one’s self for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual growth.”

When we grow, (as a person, a family or a church community) it is because we are diligently working at it, and we work at it because we love ourselves.

Love is the extension of the self, the very act of evolution.

To try and explain the miracles of grace and evolution, we hypothesize the existence of a God that wants us to grow- a God who loves us. Simple as that might seem, if we take it seriously, we find that this simple notion of a loving God does not make life or death easy. We ask, “Why does God want us to grow?” What are we growing toward? What does this God want of us?”

All of us who postulate a belief in a loving (or Universalist) God come to a single, terrifying idea in the history and consciousness of humankind: God wants us to be like Himself or Herself. We are to grow towards the good, and God is the goal of evolution. It is God who is our source, and it is God who is our destination. This is what is meant when we say God is all in all; the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.” If we believe this, it would demand from us all that we can possibly could give towards loving activity; the constant push towards greater wisdom, effectiveness, self improvement and spiritual growth. Its then no wonder that the idea is repugnant: It brings us face to face with our own ego or laziness.]

10 Responses to “Dr. Scott Peck on Love”

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