One Minute Reflection – 11 July – “The Month of the Precious Blood” – The Memorial of St John Gualbert (c 985-1073) Abbot – Ecclesiasticus 45:1-6, Matthew 5:43-48
“But I say to you, love your enemies” – Matthew 5:44
REFLECTION – “One of you will say: “I’m not able to love my enemies at all.” All through Holy Scripture God has said to you that you can and do you answer Him that, to the contrary, you cannot!? Now think about it – who are we to believe? God or you? Since He who is Truth itself cannot lie, let human weakness leave off its futile excuses forthwith! He who is just, cannot demand something impossible and He who is merciful, will not condemn someone for something that person could not avoid. So why these evasions then? There is no-one who knows better, what we are capable of, than He who has given us the ability. Such numbers of men, women, children, tender young girls, have borne flames, fire, sword and the wild beasts for Christ’s sake, without flinching and we, do we say that we cannot bear the insults of unintelligent persons?…
Indeed, if only the good are to be loved, what are we to say of the action of our God, of Whom it is written: “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son?” (Jn 3,16). For what good deeds are they, that the world had done, for God to love it so? Christ our Lord, found us all to be, not only evil but even dead, on account of original sin and yet… “he loved us and handed himself over for us” (Eph 5,2). In so acting, He loved even those who did not love Him, as the Apostle Paul also says: “Christ died for the guilty” (Rm 5,6). And in His inexpressible mercy, He gave this example to all humankind, saying: “Learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart” (Mt 11,29).” – St Caesarius of Arles (470-543) Bishop and Monk – Sermons to the people, no 37
PRAYER – May the intercession of the blessed Abbot John commend us to Thee, O Lord, so that through his merits we may obtain that which we cannot accomplish by our own. Through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).