Monday, May 01, 2006

(Positive obligations)

"The love of one's neighbor is essentially bound up with the love of God. St. John put the matter simply when he said: 'If any man say that he loves God and hateth his neighbor, that man is a liar and the truth is not in him.' This stands to reason when one considers that God, whom we are bound to love first and foremost and with all our hearts and souls, loves every human being whom He created and desires his salvation. Hence it would be a contradiction to profess love of God and at the same time to exclude a neighbor from our love.

"The object of all love is the good of the one loved. The object of love of God is the honor and glory of God; the object of love of neighbor is the welfare of our fellowmen, both spiritual and temporal, and through that the honor and glory of God. Therefore the love of neighbor imposes many positive duties upon us, such as almgiving, correction, forgiveness, etc., each one of which is directed towards the well-being and happiness of our neighbor; at the same time it forbids certain sins which would bring unhappiness, spiritual or temporal, to a neighbor."


Sweet Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us and on our erring brothers.

Let us therefore love God, because God first hath loved us. If any man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar. For he that loveth not his brother, whom he seeth, how can he love God, whom he seeth not? And this commandment we have from God, that he, who loveth God, love also his brother. (1 John 4:19-21)

O loving and merciful Savior, enkindle in my heart a fire of charity towards my neighbor like unto Thine own. Thou didst spend Thyself in behalf of others; Thou didst suffer cold and heat, hunger and thirst, poverty and want, a bitter passion and painful death to save others from their sins and to bring them happiness. Thou didst say that charity would be the mark of Thy true disciples, and didst promise that whatever we do for others will be accepted as done for Thee. I am sorry for all my past neglect of opportunities to help others; for all my selfishness and pride and greed; for all my failure to lead souls nearer to Thee. Grant me the grace to be kind and considerate in my words, thoughtful and helpful in my actions, generous and forgiving towards my enemies, and mindful always that I am bound to love others as myself for the Love of Thee. Give me a great zeal for souls, that I may be inspired to use every means within my power to enlighten the ignorant, to win sinners away from their sins, and to assist all whom I may meet to place their hope and trust in Thee. O Mary, mother of mercy and compassion, obtain for me the grace of true charity and fraternal love.