Be concerned for each other
This year I would like to propose a few thoughts in the light of the Letter to the Hebrews “Let us be concerned for each other, to stir a response in love and good works.” These words offer a timely teaching on three aspects of Christian life: concern for others, reciprocity, and personal holiness.
“He has suffered infinitely more for love of us”
The real obstacles that separate you from Christ —pride, sensuality...— are overcome through prayer and penance. And to pray and to mortify oneself is also to take care of others and to forget oneself. If you live like this you will see how most of the setbacks you meet will disappear. (The Way of the Cross, Tenth Station, 4)
“Always looking after yourself”
Selfish. Always looking after yourself. You seem incapable of feeling the fraternity of Christ. In those around you, you do not see brothers: you see stepping stones. I can foresee your complete failure. And when you have fallen, you will want others to treat you with the charity you are not willing to show towards them. (The Way, 31)
“Charity cannot lead you to dampen your faith ”
Love and practice charity without setting any limits or discriminating between people, for it is the virtue which marks us out as disciples of the Master. Nevertheless, this charity cannot lead you to dampen your faith - for it would then cease to be a virtue. Nor should it blur the clear outlines that define the faith, nor soften it to the point of changing it, as some people try to do, into something amorphous and lacking the strength and power of God. (The Forge, 456)
“The race of the children of God”
We are children of God, bearers of the only flame that can light up the paths of the earth for souls, of the only brightness which can never be darkened, dimmed or overshadowed. The Lord uses us as torches, to make that light shine out. Much depends on us; if we respond many people will remain in darkness no longer, but will walk instead along paths that lead to eternal life. (The Forge, 1)
“People who are perfect are found only in Heaven”
You say that he is full of defects. Very well ... but, apart from the fact that people who are perfect are found only in Heaven, you too have defects, yet others put up with you and, what is more, appreciate you. That is because they love you with the love of Jesus Christ had for his own, and they had a fair number of shortcomings. Learn from this. (Furrow, 758)
"Brief indeed is our time"
"Brief indeed is our time for loving, for giving, for making atonement. It would be very wrong, therefore, for us to waste it, or to cast this treasure irresponsibly overboard. We mustn't squander this period of the world's history which God has entrusted to each one of us." (Friends of God, 39)
"How could we possibly think badly of others?"
You will only be good if you know how to see the good points and the virtues of the others. That is why when you have to correct, you should do so with charity, at the opportune moment, without humiliating. And being ready yourself to learn and to improve in the very faults you are correcting. (The Forge, 455)