Charity – Twenty-Eighth 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
When Raguel saw the young Tobias, he exclaimed: “How this young man resembles my cousin!” Learning then that he was the son of his relation Tobias, he tenderly embraced him, gave him a thousand blessings, and shed tears of love over him. Why did he so love the young man? Not for his good qualities, for he had not yet learned them, but because he was the son of one who for his great virtues was deserving of love, and whom he resembled much. This is what love does when it is true. If we truly love God, we will also love all those who are embraced in the word neighbor; they are all the children of God, and resemble Him. — St. Francis of Sales.
The Emperor Theodosius, justly indignant, resolved to avenge himself in a striking manner for the insult offered by the people of Antioch to the Empress Flacille in overthrowing her statue. St. Macedonius, who was bishop of the city, begged one of the courtiers to say to the Emperor for him: “Prince, you have just cause to punish these men who have carried insolence to such an excess, but I beg you to reflect that these guilty men are the living images of God. Fear to bring upon yourself the anger of the Lord, if you are cruel to those who are His images. You are incensed at the injury done to your spouse, who is so dear to you. Will you not inflame the anger of Jesus Christ? Will He not avenge Himself for all you do to His children, who are so dear to Him, for whom He has shed all His blood?” These words deeply impressed the Emperor.
St. Teresa said that in any affliction it sufficed for her consolation to meet some person, for she instantly saw in him the image of God Whom she loved.
A holy religious wrote this resolution: “I will love God for Himself, and for His love serve those who are His images. I consecrate my heart to God and my hands to my brethren, that both may be united in God.”
My God, I take the same resolution: I will love God for Himself, my neighbor for God. Being the image of God, it is for God I will serve Him.