Sacrifice 23 Oct 2019
My house usually has a locked frontdoor. It is not so much that I dislike my neighbours. They are still strangers and I do not know very well how to love them.
God however commands me to love my neighbour. This is equally important to loving God.
I like to learn how to care for my neighbours in fresh ways. It may be a sacrifice.
Rejoice and be Glad (Gaudete et Exsultate)
106. Here I think of Saint Thomas Aquinas, who asked which actions of ours are noblest, which external works best show our love for God. Thomas answered unhesitatingly that they are the works of mercy towards our neighbour, even more than our acts of worship: "We worship God by outward sacrifices and gifts, not for his own benefit, but for that of ourselves and our neighbour. For he does not need our sacrifices, but wishes them to be offered to him, in order to stir our devotion and to profit our neighbour. Hence mercy, whereby we supply others' defects, is a sacrifice more acceptable to him, as conducing more directly to our neighbour's well-being".
107. Those who really wish to give glory to God by their lives, who truly long to grow in holiness, are called to be single-minded and tenacious in their practice of the works of mercy. Saint Teresa of Calcutta clearly realized this: "Yes, I have many human faults and failures… But God bends down and uses us, you and me, to be his love and his compassion in the world; he bears our sins, our troubles and our faults. He depends on us to love the world and to show how much he loves it. If we are too concerned with ourselves, we will have no time left for others".
Our doors are safely locked.