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Erich Fried wrote:

It is madness
says reason
It is what it is
says love

It is unhappiness
says caution
It is nothing but pain
says fear
It has no future
says insight
It is what it is
says love

It is ridiculous
says pride
It is foolish
says caution
It is impossible
says experience
It is what it is
says love

(translation by Stuart Hood)

If such words seem too sentimental or over optimistic remember that poet and anti-war campaigner Erich Fried was born in Vienna to Jewish parents but fled Austria for London in 1938 after his father had been beaten to death by the Gestapo.  He did not write these words lightly.

What ever 2017 may bring, who ever comes to power, what ever catastrophes or natural disasters unfold, whether the economy booms or busts, the events the new year brings, welcome or unwelcome, will require only one thing from us – more love.

We may find stirring in us moments of pride, a sense of achievement, growing affection, wells of anger, longing for revenge, a sense of powerlessness, a cloud of despair – what each event, yet to happen, will need of us will be more love. And when we are tired and feel we have nothing left to give, the coming year will still require of us more love.

A baby lying helpless in a manager, a man nailed, arms outstretched, on a tree, a stone rolled back from an empty tomb, each stand to remind us of the unlimited, unconditional nature of God’s love. And in turn each of these three events invite us to echo that love in the lives we lead and to the people we meet.

In the face of all that 2017 may bring this may seem ridiculous, foolish, impossible but it is what it is says Love.  Hearts may be broken but it is most assuredly what the new year will need – more love. Prepare to dig deeper.

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