“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)
Ever since I was a boy, I have loved and collected Native American stories and myths. Their wisdom and love of nature have always spoken to my soul. The one that sticks out most in my mind, though, is the story of the two wolves.
One night a wise Cherokee elder sat his grandson around a campfire and told him about the battle that goes on inside of all people. He said, “My child, the battle is between two ‘wolves’ that live inside us all. One is fear, anger, hatred, jealousy, self-pity, resentment, and unhappiness. The other is love, laughter, joy, hope, peace, kindness, and happiness.” The grandson thought on this for a long time and then asked his grandfather which wolf would win. The elder simply said, “The one you feed.”
I think that most of the problems in this world come from the fact that far too many of us, far too often, feed the wrong wolf. We let our fears lead us. We react with anger. We hate those who are different than us. We allow our jealousy, judgment, and resentment to rule our lives. We do so many things to create unhappiness in our hearts when all we really want is to be happy.
We don’t have to feed the wrong wolf, however. We can choose love. We can select joy. We can laugh often and well. We can smile and sing. We can pray and have peace. We can fill our thoughts with happiness. We can fill our lives with kindness. We can welcome God’s love and light into our hearts and souls and then share it with everyone, everywhere.
Which wolf are you going to feed today? Which life are you going to live? Fear and love are the two greatest forces in this world. Yet, only one will bring you joy. Only one will bring you back to God. Only one will help bring Heaven here to Earth.
Joseph J. Mazzella