"I slept, but my heart was awake," says the beloved in Song of Songs. there is a level at which all our hearts are always saying yes to love, regardless of how dulled or preoccupied our conscious minds are and regardless of how unloving our actions may be. Saying yes to love is a state in which we awaken to turn ourselves, intend ourselves, toward that which our hearts have been wanting all along.
I find it immensely reassuring to know that deep within myself, and with all my sisters and brothers, something is always and irrevocably saying yes to love, wanting to grow into fulfillment. It helps me be more compassionate with myself and others when we fail so miserably at loving one another. It also reminds me that the journey toward greater love is not something to be instilled in people; it is already there to be tended, nurtured and affirmed.
Moments of contemplation, moments of realizing being in love, are times when the sporadic consciousness of our minds approaches the constant wakefulness of our hearts. It is given to us, as if someone or something has said, "Hey, wake up! Here you are! Look! Taste! See! Appreciate!" It happens in little spaces and pauses, between thoughts, between activities, between demands, between breaths.
Because we keep ourselves so dull and occupied most of the time, I am certain that these awakenings come from the power of God's grace, weaving itself through our moments and circumstances, calling us to notice the wonder of our being and empowering us, if we so choose, to intend ourselves toward our deepest desire. Grace comes as a gift. We can neither earn it nor make it happen. But grace invites us to participate; it needs our involvement.