Charity – Fourteenth 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
According to the love we bear our neighbor, we know if we love God. These two loves are never separated one from the other. As we advance in one, we make progress in the other. This rule is certain. Examine your love for God; if it be perfect, so is that of your neighbor. But be not of those who say they will do much for their neighbor and never put their hand to the work. — St. Teresa.
Tertullian relates of the first Christians that they loved one another so perfectly that the pagans were in admiration, and said: “Consider how the Christians love one another, how they respect one another, how attentive to do a service for each other, even to die one for the other.”
St. John the Evangelist, according to St. Jerome, in his old age, being no longer able to walk, was carried in the arms of the disciples to the assemblies of the Christians, and from the weakness of his voice he could not make long discourses. He contented himself with saying: “My little children, love one another.” Some wearied, perhaps, at hearing the same words, murmured, saying: “Why do you always give us this advice?” He made this reply, so worthy of him: “It is the precept of the Saviour; if you observe it, it is enough.”
St. Jane Frances, desiring that all the actions of her daughters might proceed from a spirit of charity, had written upon the walls of the halls through which they most frequently passed the qualities which St. Paul gives to this sublime virtue: “Charity is patient, is kind; charity envieth not; dealeth not perversely; is not puffed up; is not ambitious; seeketh not her own; is not provoked to anger; thinketh no evil.” If it happened that one of her spiritual daughters failed in charity, she sent her to read this sentence, which she called the mirror of the monastery. She often read it herself in their presence, then turning to them with face burning with love, she would say: “If I would speak with the tongue of an angel, and have not charity, I am nothing; if I would give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.”
Lord, I will love my neighbor for Thee, because he comes from Thee; he belongs to Thee. I will always see Thee in him, pray for him, do for him all the good I can for love of Thee.