Posts Tagged ‘Love of Neighbor’

“If ye love not each other in daily communion how can ye love God whom ye have not seen?

(-From the hymn “More Love,” based on 1 John 4:20)

One aspect of St. Therese of Lisieux’s Little Way is love of neighbor, and Therese found that when it comes to loving others, practice, along with God’s grace,  makes perfect:

Therese deliberately sought the company of the sisters who, on account of their imperfections, were shunned by others, or those who pleased her least. One of these was very difficult to live with on account of her crotchety character and disagreeable manner. Therese forced herself to treat her “as she would the person that she loved most.” At times when she was tempted to give a sharp answer, she treated the Sister’s rudeness with a friendly smile. This puzzled the nun so much that she asked the Saint one day why she was so attracted to her. Therese replied that she smiled each time they met because she was “glad to see her.” In recounting this incident later, she added with a twinkle in her eye: “Of course I didn’t tell her that I was acting from a supernatural motive.” We learn from the Saint herself that her charity towards that Sister gained for her so great a grace that, from that time, she had no further difficulty in practicing that virtue.

When others complained to her about the unpleasant character of that nun and the annoyance they suffered on her account, she replied: “Be very kind to that Sister. It is both an act of charity and an exercise of patience. We must not allow our own souls to be upset and yield to interior bitterness. We must sweeten our minds by charitable thoughts. After that, the practice of patience will become almost natural.” (Rev. Francois Jamart, O.C.D., Complete Spiritual Doctrine of St. Therese of Lisieux, pp. 96-97)


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