“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart. This is the greatest and the first commandment,
and the second is like to this: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” — St. Matt. 22:38
To have for our neighbor the love that Our Saviour commands, our hearts must be good, charitable, complacent, even at a time when we feel towards him a repugnance on account of some natural or moral defect. To love thus is to love for God’s sake. The maxim of the saints was, that in loving and doing good we must never consider the person to whom we do the service but Him for Whom it is performed. — St. Francis of Sales.
St. Jane Frances had a singular affection for those in whom she saw some faults, or who had given her cause to suffer. “It is well that we have something to suffer,” she said. “Our Saviour has given us a fundamental law that we bear with our neighbor; but if our neighbor has no fault, or if he does us no wrong, in what can we bear with him?” She wrote as follows to a religious of her Order who felt great difficulty in bearing with the faults of another in the house: “My daughter, often reflect on those words of the Gospel: Jesus Christ has loved us and washed us in His blood. Notice, that He did not wait to purify us from our sins to love us, but He loved us while we were yet vile and stained with sin; it was after He had loved us that He purified us. Let us love our neighbor, full of faults though he be, and since it is impossible to wash his imperfections away in our blood, let us wish to give the last drop for that end.”
My God, give me a heart full of charity and kindness for my neighbor. It is for Thee I will love him. It is Thou I will see in his person. Let me not forget it is an essential law to bear with our neighbor.