Sunday, May 29, 2011

Keeping the Commandments: It's the Love That Matters

From today's gospel:

Jesus said to his disciples, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments."  John 14:15

And excerpts from today's meditation in Magnificat:

It is not the magnitude, or otherwise, of the work we have to do that should concern us, but the magnitude of the love with which we do it.  It is a terrible mistake to suppose that if we simply carry out the commandments externally we have nothing to worry about. 

That can be no more than lip-service; it can be simply self-culture, the service of the self; and it can be form of self-complacency . . .  Of course we have to try to keep the commandments; but the essential is to try to keep them in such a way that we learn to see more and more clearly our true Center, to keep our eyes more and more on God and less and less on ourselves, to say "I live, now not I, but Christ lives in me." 

There are, in fact, two opposite heresies here which we have to avoid:  the one says, If I do right it doesn't matter what I am; the other says, If I am right it doesn't matter what I do.  We have to try to live in God, to be right; but we learn to be right only through slowly and painfully trying to do right; and on the other hand if we were really living in God then inevitably we should, as a matter of fact, do right, for we should hunger and thirst after righteousness. 

Father Gerald Vann, O.P.

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