April 13

Reflection

A new command I give you: Love one another.
As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
John 13:34

A person who is steeped in God seeks the good of all, appreciates differences, builds trust, and works to guarantee the rights of all.  Unfortunately, many of the deep hatreds among peoples are justified by religious or ethnic differences.  Religion which is intended to enable us to focus our spiritual desire for the God who is defined as Love often fires people to acts of violence. It was this way in the past and we see the same behavior today. Ethnicity which celebrates the splendid variety of the human species can become a source of division. We have seen this in the past and we see it again today. What would the world be like if we as individuals and as a nation tried to sow seeds of love that would grow into bonds of unity rather than sow seeds of division? What would it be like if we replaced military might with moral right? What if our strength were based in respect rather than fear? What if we sought to live as a people of God?

Prayer

Lord, where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Francis of Assisi.

Action

Examine your own prejudices and contradictions in the light of your expressed beliefs. How accepting are you of the rhetoric of prejudice and arrogance? Try to heal divisions in your own sphere of relationships and sow seeds of love.

Suggested Reading

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred let me sow love.
The Prayer of St. Francis

The deepest of level of communication is not communication, but communion. It is wordless…beyond speech…beyond concept.
Thomas Merton

It is intolerable that the world’s religions — founded on the values of love and compassion — should provide a pretext for the expression of hatred and violence.
Federico Mayor

In the Bible, the ones who were most certain about what they were doing were the ones who stoned the prophets.
Bob

Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking together in the same direction.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery

We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another.
Johnathan Swift

Is it not strange that mankind should so willingly battle for religion and so unwillingly live according to its precepts?
Georg Cristoph Lichtenberg

In every religion, there are those who would drape themselves in the mantle of belief and faith only to distort its most sacred teachings.
Hillary Clinton

The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.
Coretta Scott King

Even if a unity of faith is not possible, a unity of love is.
 Hans Urs von Balthasar

 

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