THE BLOG

The Path of Love

11/17/2010 10:20 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

I think about God a lot. It's actually one of my favorite things to dwell on. It started when I quit the Lutheran Church when I was 14 due to the hypocrisy and misogyny I felt whenever I went to church. I went on the epic search for meaning and understanding across many faiths. And eventually, I ended up with a peaceful understanding that has guided me through many tragedies and challenges. And lots of good times, too.

So the other day Eve (yes, named after THAT Eve), who is 13, expressed some frustrations with going to church with her father. (Even before we dated, I agreed he could raise our kids Catholic. It was very important to him.)

"What's wrong?" I asked.

"They are all hypocrites!" she spat out. And I smiled inside. "Do you believe in God?" she asked me.

"Very much so," I said.

"Well, then, what is your religion?" For the first time, she was asking me, and I felt a precious moment coming on!

"I don't really believe in religion, I believe in God. To me, religion divides people. And if God made all of us, then I believe that we should unite together in our faith."

"Then, what do you call it?"

I thought, and was stumped, and thought about it some more. I thought about it that night and the next morning. And then I remembered what I call it: the Path of Love.

Early in my search and research, I thought I would find a uniting principle if I studied all the religions closely enough. I didn't, really. And it's partly, I realized, because many religions are cultural and tribal beliefs as much as they are beliefs about God. But my favorite saying comes from the Moravians, who settled in Bethlehem, PA, where I currently live. Their credo ends "In all things, Love." That, to me, sums it up. And I just love how the 14-year-old Moravian Countess Benigna Zinzendorf started a school for girls--blacks, Native Americans, and anyone else who wanted to learn. That was in 1740. And part of my belief is that each thing we do is an act of service and worship. We may not need a church to go to if the world is our church (and I worship wherever music is played!). Nature is my cathedral.

So I'm on the Path of Love. And I'm not forcing anyone else to walk it with me. It's a choice I've made, and have never regretted. It's my uniting principle, and all religions and faiths, political persuasions, and people are welcome. There is no requirement for entry, no rules or regulations. No dogma. No thou shalt nots. Just a commitment to the effort to approach all things, all people, and all moments, with love.

I just love the Path of Love!

For more from Maria Rodale go to www.mariasfarmcountrykitchen.com.