St. Therese Society

a group of college and young professional women in St. Louis seeking to deepen their spirituality and grow in holiness while discerning a possible vocation to religious life

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Location: St. Louis, Missouri

"Charity gave me the key to my vocation. I understood that the Church had a Heart and that this Heart was burning with love. I understood that Love comprised all vocations, that Love was everything, that it embraced all times and places...in a word, that it was eternal! My vocation, at last I have found it...My vocation is Love!"

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Can we love neighbor when our feelings go in the opposite direction? Certainly, for love consists in the attitude of will…Notice that we are not called on to have a warm feeling for all men at any time--still less to have such a feeling for enemies. Again, we recall what love is: it is to will or wish good to the other for the other's sake. This lies in our spiritual will, not in our feelings. So we can love even enemies by willing good to them, especially the good of eternal salvation, plus other things too. To this end, at a minimum we will include them in a general way in our prayers. Further, if our will for their well-being is strong as it should be, we will also act, will help others, especially the poor. (Acting on any attitude also strengthens it.) Hence the many exhortations in Scripture to help the poor. If we do so, it not only benefits the poor but helps us at the same time…
This is a remarkable thought. Our Father has promised mercy to the merciful, in line with both His love of us, and His love of what is good in itself, objective goodness. When we do good to others, thanks to His promise, we establish a title on which He can more fully do good to us, which pleases Him greatly. We could actually say that by His kindness, there is a multiplier: one and the same action helps neighbor, as an act of love, and helps us, creating a title to receive favors from our Father. So there are two titles: the exercise of love of our Father, and the practice of love of neighbor. Both are found in one and the same action, thanks to His generosity. Hence His Son counts these things as done to Him, as the Gospel description of the Last Judgment scene shows.
--Fr. William Most

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