I love myself, do I love my neighbor? – Real Life Rosary

I love myself, do I love my neighbor?

Posted by James Hahn on

Friday August 25th – Saint Louis of France
Saint Joseph Calasanz, priest

Matthew 22:34-40

On my way home from work a man driving a black truck pulled out in front of me as I was traveling down the high-way at about, well, the speed limit of course. This forced me to hit my brakes and nearly screech to a stop. My heart was beating fast and the warmness of the adrenaline was coursing through my veins. In my mind I was unloading on this guy with some very uncharitable thoughts. I imagined myself really letting him know what I thought of him.

As I continued on my way, ranting in my mind, I remembered that I had accidentally pulled a similar stunt a few days before and received some pretty nasty looks. When I was at fault I was quick to forgive myself for my mistake and I self-righteously prayed for those drivers who were making a big deal out of an accident. However, when the man in the black truck was at fault, and I was the one “put out”, the forgiveness didn’t come quite as quickly.

Today’s Gospel reminds me that if I am to love my neighbor as myself I have a long way to go. The first commandment Jesus mentions is no walk in the park. I know that is what I am supposed to do but doing it doesn’t come easily. Yet it seems that the loving your neighbor part is even more difficult. I am extremely quick to excuse, forgive, and forget the dumb things I do but when it comes to other people I am far less lenient.

Lord Jesus, make me as patient with others as I am with myself. Help me to work on my disobedience as much as I work on my children’s disobedience. Show me how to be as patient with my co-workers’ faults as I am with my own. Give me the courage to care for the physical well being of others as much as I care for my own. Pour out Your grace upon me so that I may love YOU with all my heart, mind, and soul and then I will be able to love my neighbor as myself.

- “My dearest son, my first instruction is that you should love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your strength. Without this there is no salvation. Keep yourself, my son, from everything that you know displeases God, that is to say, from every mortal sin. You should permit yourself to be tormented by every kind of martyrdom before you would allow yourself to commit a mortal sin.”
– From a spiritual testament to his son by Saint Louis

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