1 Maccabees, Chapter 7, Verse 18
Then fear and dread of them came upon all the people, who said: “There is no truth or justice among them; they violated the agreement and the oath that they swore.”
Strife breeds Strife-Love breed’s love therefore; be always open to forgiving injuries.
Christ tells us to love our enemy which is much easier to say than to do. Yet as much as possible we are to not fear them but strive to love them. Often we find it difficult to love even our family and neighbors let alone our enemies. In fact the opposite of fear is not courage but love. Paul illustrates for us the following ways of living to demonstrate true love or charity. (Hebrews, Chapter 13, Verse’ 1-6)
- In all that you do be an agent of hospitality. That is to be generous. Even the poor can be rich in their praise and love of others. Share not only your time, talent and treasure but truly give of yourself to others of your intellect, emotional support, and physical presence. A good guide is the spiritual works of mercy: instruct the ignorant; counsel the doubtful; admonish sinners; bear wrongs patiently; forgive offences willingly; comfort the afflicted; pray for the living and the dead.
- Do what you can to free others of their prisons whether these are self-imposed i.e. addictions or through ignorance. A good guide is the corporal works of mercy: feed the hungry; give drink to the thirsty; clothe the naked; harbor the harbor-less; visit the sick; ransom the captive; bury the dead.
- Marriage is the physical reality of our souls marriage to God through the Holy Spirit; therefore. If married love and honor your wife; be chase in spirit whether married or single knowing that marriage is the physical sign of your union with God. Disdain any kind of sexual defilement.
- Avoid the love of money. Seek simplicity and contentment. Treat all the wealth you have as if it were Gods; on loan to you to build the Kingdom; which it is. You can do this if you know and trust God will never forsake you or abandon you.
The proper meaning of love is to seek the good of the other as other.
Not Holding a Grudge
As he went down the road, filled with contrition for the terrible deed he had intended to do, he came to the monastery of San Miniato, entered it, and kneeling before the Crucifix he poured out his heart in contrition. As he prayed, the Crucifix miraculously bowed its head as though to bless John's victory over revenge and John was filled with the desire to serve only Christ. He went to the abbot to ask permission to wear the habit, and, when the abbot hesitated for several days for fear of the displeasure of John's father, John hacked off his hair and put on a borrowed habit. This convinced Father Abbot that the young penitent was a serious prospect and he received him into the community.