Cheryl Lawrie at [ hold this space ] — in a short but complex post that contrasts certainty and righteous indignation with faith, uncertainty and dying to self — paraphrases Thomas Aquinas:
“Love means saying to the outsider, ‘I am glad you exist. I am glad you are here.'”
(My note: Sometimes I find that it’s easier to will this for the outsider, if they seem marginalised, than it is for the insider, who seems over-valued in society.)
She goes on:
“It’s a beautiful definition, but I’ve realised I agree with it only as long as I get to choose who to say that to. The trouble with enraged weeks is that they leave one sure of too much… and I’m a bit scared that the anecdotal evidence of my own life seems to indicate that the more I am sure about, the less I love.
“Last night I tried saying ‘I am glad you exist, I am glad you are here’ while watching politicians of all persuasions on the news. … I suspect that me hating [a particular politician] doesn’t do any good. Likewise, I suspect that me saying ‘I am glad you exist’ won’t change her either. But it will change me. Even if simply because it forces me to acknowledge that truth, life and love are bigger than my imagining. “