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

Saturday, September 1, 2007

“Pursue righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience..."

Today I rearranged the links on the right side for a better classification. Some people don't like the way the Church is organized, they feel a sens of dictatorship and authority which should not exist for an organization which is meant to teach how to love. But one thing we forgot very often is that 'love' is a decision, therefore true love is a response to a commandment to love. Jesus illustrated it when he said: John 13:34. A new commandment I give unto you: That you love one another, as I have loved you, that you also love one another. The words of the last judgement also remind us of our duties to others. However, we can very easily forget that we ought to love as He loved us. Learning and obeying the Will of the Father. He did not negotiate with the Father, He obeyed until the end and in all things.

So we should not be surprised that his Kingdom is an absolute monarchy. In our Faith we should not pick what is convenient to our temporal opinions, but accept the fullness of eternal Truth. We have to be in full communion with the Church if we want to be in full communion with Christ; If we listen to the successors of apostles we also listen to Him, if we reject them we also reject Him. Love seems to be something so simple. We don't realize that so easily but Jesus had to invite us into an attitude of a soldier in order to make us understand how serious the matter is. Not that love is complicated by nature, but because of our powerful enemy, life became so complicated. St. Paul reminds us of this military attitude through his writings. But an Army of love is a different kind of army and the battle a different kind of battle.

St. Josemaria Escriva says that Jesus summarized his teachings in a last sermon which he gave on the podium of the Cross. He illustrated the way a Christian is supposed to love. I liked the picture. It illustrates how God's love conquers the World. From a heart burning with love on the Cross Mary was consecrated Our Mother and the Church was born. It was also by sharing in this Eucharistic heart through centuries that men and women have become generals in the great armies of God. Some of us are part of their holy orders and movements and try to follow their steps toward the house of perfect love: the House of the Father.

But we are not always the Christians we are called to be. In the Word of Life for this month, Chira Lubich, founder of the Focolare Movement gives us an advice:

“Pursue righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience and
gentleness.”

The experience lived out by the initial group of young women who
gave life to the Focolare Movement in Trent, back in 1944, provides us with an
insight into how we can live this Word of Life, especially the part about “love,
patience, and gentleness.”It was not always easy to live the radicality of love,
especially at the beginning. Even among ourselves, in our relationships with
each other, sometimes some dust would settle in and our unity would become less
strong. This happened, for example, when we looked at the defects and faults of
the others and we judged them, for then the current of love among us turned
cold. In order to remedy this situation, one day we thought of making a
pact together and we called it “the pact of mercy.” Every morning we made a
decision to look at all the neighbors that we would meet that day—in the
focolare, at school, at work, and other places—as if they were new, totally new,
no longer remembering their defects at all and covering everything with love.
This meant approaching each person with this total amnesty in our hearts, with
this universal forgiveness. It was a demanding commitment and all of us
took it on together. It helped us to be—as far as possible—the first to love
always, to live in imitation of our merciful God, who forgives and forgets.
by Chiara Lubich
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