Lord, help me to live this day with no regrets. I want to bring your Spirit of love to all the encounters, all the tasks of my day. Keep me aware how the urgencies of the day can cloud over the relationships that are so important to me. Help me to pause and think of those who need my attention. I pray that when the dawn has set, I have been your voice, your touch of compassion and your ears for sincere listening. -The Jesuit Prayer TeamPlease share the Good Word with your friends!
There is an inextricable link between love of God and love of neighbor. When asked what the greatest commandment was, Jesus answered that a total love of God was the first commandment but that love of neighbor was the second above everything else (Mark 12). Saint Ignatius picks up on this link between love of God and neighbor and applies it to the progress of the spiritual pilgrim.
For Saint Ignatius, love of God and neighbor could not be two competing loves. Rather, they are two enriching loves that naturally compel each other to greater heights. Contemplative prayer naturally leads one to action and sustains one in service of those neighbors in need. Love of God manifested in prayer then becomes preparation for love of God manifested in service and sacrifice for the sake of neighbor. Every experience of the life of service and sacrifice is then re-imagined and put in relation to how the worker prayerfully sees himself or herself as one of Jesus’ companions in the gospels. Love of neighbor puts us closer to Christ in love.
With this dynamic relationship in mind, we can see why the traditional formula of “know, love and serve God” (our entire purpose in life) is expressed by Saint Ignatius as “praise, reverence and serve.” To know and love is activated as praising and reverencing, while service is naturally understood as active. Saint Ignatius’ taste for the active life presupposes an unrivaled love of God. We continue to pray with Saint Ignatius that we hear the call of Christ to labor at His side, giving all of the love that is due to both God and neighbor. —Fr. John Brown, S.J.
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One of the scribes came near and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, he asked him, “Which commandment is the first of all?”Jesus answered, “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one;you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
Then the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher; you have truly said that ‘he is one, and besides him there is no other’;and ‘to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength,’ and ‘to love one’s neighbor as oneself,’ —this is much more important than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”When Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” After that no one dared to ask him any question. While Jesus was teaching in the temple, he said, “How can the scribes say that the Messiah is the son of David?David himself, by the Holy Spirit, declared,
‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at my right hand,
until I put your enemies under your feet.”’
David himself calls him Lord; so how can he be his son?” And the large crowd was listening to him with delight. As he taught, he said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces,and to have the best seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets!They devour widows’ houses and for the sake of appearance say long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”
He sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums.A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny.Then he called his disciples and said to them, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury.For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”
The New Revised Standard Version copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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