Wednesday, May 28, 2008


LOVE OF NEIGHBOR (Negative Obligations)

Besides the positive duties of fraternal charity, such as almsgiving, correction, forgiveness, there are many sins to be avoided in the practice of the same virtue, and these may be listed as the negative obligations. Every human being has it in his power not only to help his neighbor but also to hurt him. This latter may take the form of temporal harm, as it does in the sins of hatred, slander, detraction, and similar sins, or it may do eternal harm as in the the case of scandal and cooperation in another's sins.

A few examples cited in the Examination of Conscience for Adults:

**"Have I callously rejoiced over the serious misfortunes that came to others, ...because it pleased me to see them suffer?"

**”Have I deprived an unborn child of its right to life by causing an abortion, or paying for an abortion, or cooperating in it in some other way?"

**”Have I attributed bad motives to others when I could not be certain of their motives?"

**”Have I made cutting, sarcastic remarks to others?"


"O patient Jesus, how unworthy I am of Thee! Thou was all charity towards Thy persecutors; I am so easily moved to hatred and rancor towards my enemies! Thou didst pray so lovingly for those who crucified Thee, and I so often seek revenge against those who offend me!

"Thy words were always words of kindness and compassion, or words of rebuke only when rebuke was necessary to win back a sinner's love; my words are so often inspired by dislike and ill-will towards others! Thou didst die to prevent sin, and I am one of those who so often made Thy death in vain by leading others into sin by my example or my cooperation.

"I am sorry now for all the harm I have done to souls that Thou didst purchase with Thy Precious Blood; I promise now to make atonement, and to be ready to lay down my life for the salvation of my neighbor. Grant me the grace to remember the power of my example and my words and my actions over the lives of others; let me say or do nothing that might bring pain to one of the little ones beloved by Thee.

"O Mary, who didst add thy sufferings of Jesus in behalf of sinners, accept the sacrifices I shall make in behalf of charity and unit them to thine, that with thee and in thee I may help to save many souls."


Oh my God, I love Thee, and I love my neighbor as myself for the love of Thee.


A new commandment I give unto you: That you love one another, as I have loved you, that you also love another. By this shall all men know that you are My disciples, if you have love one for another. (John 13:35, 36)