Since faith is one, it must be professed in all its purity and integrity". Pope Francis/Pope Benedict
email:torontocatholicwitness@rogers.com

Sunday, 3 June 2018

We must love those who hate us: anything less is opposing Christ




Dear friends, during this time of great crisis in the Church, with the ever increasing dissent, chaos, and heresy, great will the temptation be for Catholics to fall into, if not formal schism, an equally destructive "schism of the heart". 

We must re-double our efforts to ensure that when we repeat what the Church has always taught (namely doctrine), we must do always with the greatest kindness for the wayward soul. Dom Chautard, the French spiritual master, gave us examples of Sts. Bernard, Francis of Assisi, Francis de Sales as preachers of doctrine! Yet, men ever on fire for souls, following the kind, generous and most-loving Heart of Jesus. Facebook and Twitter are - for many Catholics not just remote, but proximate occasions of sin - cesspools of sin, where "religion" is not about Christ Jesus and Him Crucified, but a false, horizontal Christianity (that Blessed Paul VI warned of in 1968), that is deadly to the soul. Daily Mass, time for Meditation, and regular Confession are musts for Catholics who are active on social media. If not sooner or later (usually sooner), they will fall. Look at me, dear friends. It was but a couple of months ago, that I realized that my own soul was in danger, without change.  

At the close of the Great War, Pope Benedict XV admonished Catholics to strive to follow Our Lord in the great command to love - even to love our enemies. In our day, we must lovingly preach through kindness (without ever watering down doctrine) to those who attack Christ, His Church, His Truth.


Pope Benedict XV

Our Lord Jesus Christ, in teaching us how to pray to God, makes us say that we wish for pardon as we forgive others: “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive them that trespass against Us.” And if the observance of this law is sometimes hard and difficult, we have not only the timely assistance of the grace of Our Divine Redeemer, but also His example to help us to overcome the difficulty. For as He hung on the Cross He thus excused before his Father those who so unjustly and wickedly tortured Him: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” 

We then, who should be the first to imitate the piety and loving kindness of Jesus Christ, whose Vicar, without any merit of Our own, We are; with all Our heart, and following His example, We forgive all Our enemies who knowingly or unknowingly have heaped and are still heaping on our person and Our work every sort of vituperation, and We embrace all in Our charity and benevolence, and neglect no opportunity to do them all the good in Our power. That is indeed what Christians worthy of the name ought to do towards those who during the war have done them wrong.

Christian charity ought not to be content with not hating our enemies and loving them as brothers; it also demands that we treat them with kindness, following the rule of the Divine Master Who “went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed by the devil”, and finished His mortal life, the course of which was marked by good deeds, by shedding His blood for them. 

So said St. John: “In this we have known the charity of God, because He hath laid down His life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. He that hath substance of this world and shall see his brother in need and shall shut up his bowels from him: how doth the charity of God abide in him? My little children, let us love not in word nor by tongue, but in deed and in truth.”

1 comment:

john haggerty said...

'The Cross of Christ is the Jacob's ladder by which we ascend into the highest heavens. There we see joyful Patriarchs, expecting Saints, Prophets ministering, Apostles publishing, and Doctors teaching, all Nations concentering, and Angels praising. That Cross is a tree set on fire with invisible flame, that illuminateth all the world. The flame is love: the love in His bosom who died on it. In the light of which we see how to possess all the things in Heaven and Earth after His similitude.'

'Centuries of Meditation - THOMAS TRAHERNE' (Bertram Dobell editor) Cosimo Classics 2007.

Traherne (1636-1674) received his master's degree in divinity from Brasenose College, Oxford.
He then worked as a parish priest in England although his Meditations lay forgotten for 200 years until they were discovered by antiquarian bookseller Bertram Dobell, who published them in 1908.

The quotation is from Meditation 60.