The Building of a Civilization of Love

The third area of commitment that comes with love is that of daily life with its multiple relationships. I am particularly referring to family, studies, work and free time. Dear young friends, cultivate your talents, not only to obtain a social position, but also to help others to “grow”. Develop your capacities, not only in order to become more “competitive” and “productive”, but to be “witnesses of charity”. In addition to your professional training, also make an effort to acquire religious knowledge that will help you to carry out your mission in a responsible way. In particular, I invite you to carefully study the social doctrine of the Church so that its principles may inspire and guide your action in the world. May the Holy Spirit make you creative in charity, persevering in your commitments, and brave in your initiatives, so that you will be able to offer your contribution to the building up of the “civilisation of love”. The horizon of love is truly boundless: it is the whole world!

- Pope Benedict XVI, WYD 2007 MESSAGE, Growing in love each day

3:12. Not as though I had already attained, or were already perfect: but I follow after, if I may by any means apprehend, wherein I am also apprehended by Christ Jesus.
3:13. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended. But one thing I do: Forgetting the things that are behind and stretching forth myself to those that are before,
3:14. I press towards the mark, to the prize of the supernal vocation of God in Christ Jesus.

-St. Paul to Philippians

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Perfect Joy

In the following video, St. Francis of Assisi says: "Blessed is he who does good to others and desires not that others do good to him". When I read things first, I felt revolted that he said that a person can desired not that people do good to him. It sound uncharitable because if we love people and we would like them to be good or to see their goodness, we should somehow be frustated if they are not good, even to us. Not out of selfsheness, but because we would like them to be good and charitable people.

I tought seriously about St. Francis words because they seem to speak to me. Sometimes we are precisely frustated by others' ungoodness and we try to show it thinking that they will notice that their attitude is not charitable and that they will try to correct it and be good. But here St. Francis propose a different attitude. Instead of expecting others to be good. How about not even questioning their state of goodness. It may sound like not caring, but when I looked at it, it is actually the best way we escape the temptation of being judgemental. It is not a surprise that it is the same Francis who said that we should "preach the Gospel (and somehow, only) use words if necessary". What he tried to say was. We should live according to the Gospel, and if someone whould question us about why we live this particular way, then we should use words and explain why. This way we can preach the Gospel without sounding judgmental or even being judgmental.

So we should not care too much about expecting others to be good to us, because after all, how do we know if they are not being good to us. Sometimes they may be, and we may not noticed it. But some other time they may really be bad to us. In both case we can find perfect Joy when we worry only about what comes out of our hearts. And we make sure what ever comes of it is love and is for the good of others, however it may look like. Like St. Augustine said: "Love and do what you want...". And since if we really love, we can not want a bad thing, then we will only do good things.

At the end St. Francis teaches as how to descover or recover perfect innocence which gives us perfect Joy. And this is the good news, the Gospel of our Lord Jesus. This is how we can find, share, and enjoy his peace even in middle of sufferings or other unlikely situation. A christian can always Joyfull not matter what he has experienced or he is experiencing. Somehow, we can be Joyfull even when we are not Happy.
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