Thought for the Day – 4 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood” – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The New Life
“Only a Christian,” wrote Tertullian, “can be wise, sincere and lofty” (De praescriptione haereticorum, 3).
He had in mind, of course, the true follower of Jesus Christ, who is practising the precepts of Our Lord.
“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with they whole heart ... Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Mt 22:37, MK 12:30, Lk 10:27).
“You are to be perfect, even as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Mt 5:48).
A man who loves God above all things, can fairly be called wise.
God is the supreme good and as such, should be the final end towards which we direct all our thoughts and actions.
If anyone adopts his own ego or some created good as his goal in life, he is not wise because he has upset the proper scale of values.
It is not true to say that we should love ourselves before anything else because we are creatures who belong to God and should refer everything to Him.
Only if we love God above all things, even above ourselves, can we really be said to love ourselves.
How can we love ourselves, if, in the first place, we do not love our highest good, which is God?
Since this love must be active, it makes us faithful to God’s commandments and raises us above the rest of creation to a state of immediate dependence on God.
A love of all mankind flows as a natural consequence from this union of love with God.
If we regard all men as our brothers in Jesus Christ, we shall be perfect Christians in the manner intended by our divine Redeemer when He desires us to be like His heavenly Father.
This is the new life which Jesus came to bring into the world and which we should nurture in ourselves (Cf Heb 4:23-24).”