Monday, November 12, 2012

Luke 17:1-6: Finding Peace by Loving Others

  


     According to the commentary posted today at dailygospel.org, Blessed Charles de Foucauld stated in his letter to love our neighbor.  What a concept!  Here is part of the commentary:
". . . let us frequently recount the twofold history of the graces God has given us personally since our birth and of our infidelities. There we will find... reason for losing ourselves in a boundless trust in his love. He loves us because he is good, not because we are good – don't mothers love their wayward children? And we will find something with which to bury ourselves in humility and self-mistrust. Let us try to reclaim our sins by loving our neighbor and by the good we have done to our neighbor. Charity towards our neighbor, attempts to do good to others, are an excellent remedy for counteracting temptation. This is to move from mere defense to counter-attack."

     How many times do we put ourselves into self denial about how we treat others and ignore "the graces God has given us personally since our birth"?  As a young man, I blindly ignored the opportunities to love my neighbor, even though the inherent grace to radiate such love was always there. We make this choice, and it is part of the free will God gives us.  Once enlightened by Christ's gospel, I realized that loving my neighbor is such a liberating thing -- really.  Self love is easy but empty.  Sure I like to stay fit, eat well, and exercise, but worrying about the latest fashion, what the "Joneses" have, or the hottest technology leads to an abyss of emptiness.  This emptiness we attempt to fill with more self love.  And the vicious circle continues. This is where we need to "bury ourselves in humility and self-mistrust," embrace the open arms of our Lord, and love our neighbor.  For as St. Francis says in his beautifully-moving prayer, "It is in giving that we receive . . . and it is in dying that we are brought to eternal life. Amen." May we all love our neighbor, find true peace in self-abandon, and embrace the love of our Lord Jesus Christ who is Love.  

My prayer for the day:
Dear God, 
Thank you for the many graces you give.
Thank you for the gift of your son, Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. 
For through His passion, death, and resurrection, my sins were remitted.  
Please grant me the grace of always thankfully remembering Your Son's sacrifice and love.
Please forgive me of my sins, for I love you with all my heart, soul, mind, spirit and strength and am truly sorry for falling short and offending You.
Through the Holy Spirit, dear God, please grant me your many gifts.
Kindly help me to radiate the Gospel to the world and mirror the life of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior, and enlighten me to always follow Your will.
Grant me the grace to prayerfully serve and love my neighbor, in Jesus Christ's name.  
Amen.