“Never forget that you shall be judged on love alone. There is only one way to love God and to prove it to him, and that is by loving your neighbor — the person next to you at any given moment. I repeat, turning your face and heart to Christ simply means turning your face to the one who is next to you at this moment in your life. If you do that, dearly beloved, you shall become a saint.”
This really got my attention and I hope it gets yours. Catherine is basically explaining 1 Cor. 13 to us. Read the above and below carefully.
If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
I can do all sort of wonderful things including giving up all of my possessions and giving up my body to be burned but if I don’t have love, it means nothing.
It can be easier to love the person on the street, or the person we agree with, than to love our spouse whom we live with daily and promised at the altar to love.
Sometimes it is easier to feed the hungry than to show kindness to my children, or the neighbor next door, or the people I work with day in and day out.
We are even called to love those who hurt us!
Are we a noisy gong — a clanging cymbal?
This Advent let’s remember as we examine our conscious each day how did we love? How did we care for those closest to us? How did we care for those who annoy us? Did we seek our own way? Were we patient and kind?
We can only do this with the help of God. He will help us if we ask him. Jesus will love others through us if we allow Him to do so, but we must remember to try for we will be judged by love alone.
Agape love is a gift of God. It has nothing to do with whether we feel like it or not. We need to will it. In the end, there is faith, hope, and love.
But the greatest of these is love.
God bless you.
Mary Ann/Mother Hen