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Not Only Words

Words can be such wonderful expressions of love and powerful tools for change. On this Valentine’s Day, many lovely words will be shared that express our love, admiration, joy, inspiration, hope and faith in our partners. However, as every partner soon learns, words alone are not enough. Love is an action verb.

And so it is in our affairs of the world. The things we hold dear, the things we believe in, the principles we live by, the passions we carry cannot just be words. Over time, without action, they become empty words. This was never more true than today, when so many of our spiritual beliefs, values and principles are being challenged by forces that do not appear loving, compassionate or caring.

As Universalists, there are some powerful principles that guide us. They form the heart center and backbone of our spiritual life and practice. Each week I will highlight some of the key 28 Principles from our Universalist Manifesto as a call to loving action. This week is Principle 11.

11. We are here to co-create Light, Harmony and Balance in all things of creation by example, teaching, charity, compassion, prayer and meditation, and the guiding principle of unconditional love.

The guiding phrase here is “by example.” Universalists by their very nature are action-oriented. It does not sit well with us to be lost in Airy Fairy Land or rest on a spiritual pink cloud OM-ing for eternity. There is too much to be done and too many in need for passive spirituality to be our comfort zone. When a critic accused Gandhi of being passive because his civil disobedience movement was called passive-resistance by Westerners, he answered in essence that he had never been passive a day in his life; that his strategy of resistance was active and provocative, and would not be stilled. To struggle for what is right and for our rights must be active and provocative, and cannot be stilled.

As Principle 11 relates, Unconditional Love is the guiding light, so whether your issue is women’s rights, children’s rights, healthcare, LGBT rights, immigrant rights, religious freedom, violence against women, climate change, peace or all the above, get off your proverbial butts and get to work. This is truly God’s work. A good place to start is Check it out now and start your love-in-action!

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