Charity – First Day of November
“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
O my Saviour and my God, was it necessary that Thou shouldst make it a precept to be loved? Art Thou not amiable on account of Thy perfections, and dost Thou not deserve all our love for the infinite love Thou hast for us? If anyone does not love Thee, he is not worthy to know Thee. A soul that knows God must love Him, and love Him more and more as he knows Him better. — St. Teresa.
St. Philip Neri often said: “Lord, I do not love Thee, because I do not know Thee.”
A great servant of God, who was burning with love for Him suffered a kind of martyrdom during the carnival time in seeing so many Christians rejoicing when God was so much offended. He exclaimed: “Love is not loved, Love is not loved. He is not loved because He is not known.”
A person of great piety thus made known to her director the sentiments of her soul. “A great fire is enkindled in my soul when Our Saviour makes known to me in prayer how much He deserves to be loved on account of the great love He has for us. He loves us first with the same love that He has for Himself, because of the grand things He has done for us and continues to do; secondly, because of the great desire He has for our love — so great that it is called the folly of love. Alas! He asks to be known only that He may be loved, and He finds no access to our hearts because they are not well disposed; thirdly, because of the patience with which He bears the ingratitude of so many creatures who will not correspond to the great love He has for them. He follows them continually, to be loved, and they fly that they may not be loved. When I reflect on this I am penetrated with astonishment. A God who gave these creatures a heart to love can suffer them to love Him not, can love to such an excess creatures so vile! I am sometimes filled with sentiments of love; I would wish for the heart of a seraph to love my God. Sometimes I feel afflicted when thinking of the many who love not God, and of the time when I loved Him not. My pain increases when I consider that not to love God is to despise His power, His wisdom, His charity, His goodness, all His perfections, all the mysteries of Jesus Christ; I then beg the infinite goodness of God to make Himself known that He may be loved. I offer myself to Him with all my heart to enkindle in all hearts the fire of His love. These are the sentiments which animate me in prayer, and I endeavor to entertain them during the day.”
O my God, how can we find pleasure in doing what offends Thee? Give me the heart of an angel that I may love Thee and cause Thee to be loved. Make use of me to enkindle the fire of Thy love in all hearts.