"If I hadn't had love…”
Henryk Sienkiewicz in the novel ,,Quo vadis ”, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize, presented the life of the first Christians. It was admired by the Gentiles. In his second novel, "The Teutonic Knights" also presents the life of Christians, though from later times. The Teutonic Knights are also Christians, who were invited to Polish lands, to convert the Gentiles. Unfortunately. These Christians spread the faith of Christ with the sword and thought more about their power and property than about serving God. What was the motive of some, and what the other lacked ? Which procedure is, in your opinion, worthy of followers of Christ ?
The Church is herself, when he loves
St.. Paweł teaches :
"If I spoke in the tongues of men and angels, and I would not have love, I would become a clinking copper or a clanging cymbal. If only I had the gift of prophesying and knowing all the secrets, and he had all knowledge and all (possible) faith yes, that I may move mountains, and I would not have love, I would be nothing. And if I should give alms all that I have, and he set the body to be burned, but I would not have love, I wouldn't gain anything " (1 Disease 13, 1-3).
Why is St.. Paweł puts love above all else ? Let's look for an answer.
"God is love" (1 J 4, 8). The life of the Holy Trinity is the mutual love of the three divine Persons. This love also manifests itself externally, works in the world, and most of all in man. God made man out of love, to share your life and happiness with him. When a man has sinned, God decided to save him and save him. Driven by this love, he chose and took care of the nation of Israel, through this people to prepare salvation for the whole world. God showed the greatest love for people, when he sent his Son to earth. “In this revealed God's love for us, that he sent his only-begotten Son into the world, that we may have life thanks to him " (1 J 4, 9).
In Christ, God's love dwelt among people. Jesus' whole life was full of love, "He went through good doing" (Dz 10, 38). He loved everyone with the most selfless and constant love. He told himself about himself, that "did not come, to be served, but to serve " (Mk 10, 45). The culmination of this love was the sacrificial death on the cross. He did it then, what he taught : “No one has greater love than this, when someone lays down his life for his friends " (J 15, 13).
Through baptism, God's love is in us. In this sacrament we received the supernatural virtue of love. Thanks to her, God can love other people through us. In this way, Christ is present in the world through the loving Church. It is "the universal sacrament of salvation, showing and at the same time realizing the mystery of God's love for man " (KDK 45).
The Church of Christ lives by love
Faithful to Christ's commands, the Church proclaims and recalls the duty of love from the very beginning. However, it does not stop at words, but he realizes love.
In individual epochs, according to the constantly emerging needs, The Church began various works, especially charitable works. In the name of love, he built the world's first hospitals, retirement homes, shelters and orphanages. He also founded schools that were becoming more and more perfect, and even universities, that is, academies, in which a lot of young people studied for free. Various guilds and brotherhoods were established on the initiative of the Church. They taught and organized craft work and kept watch, that justice and love may be preserved in the world of work.
Today, in more developed countries, many of the above-mentioned works of love have been taken over and led by the state. The Church, however, continues to carry out the work of love. He is still active in the institutions that exist today and is present in them through the Christians who work there. And so e.g.. the farmer should work this way, to get as much crops as possible from the earth for the benefit of other people. The builder has to strive for it, that the commissioned house is best prepared for living. Hospitals demand a tender and self-sacrificing love for the sick and suffering, and not just official care. The point is, that each one should do his job well "alone, desiring nothing more.", like this, to serve the good of all " (KDK 42).
Thus, “Love alone urges the disciples of Christ, to… they devoted themselves to faithfully carrying out their earthly duties, guided in this spirit of the Gospel " (KDK 28 i 43).
The Church of Christ adapts to changing situations, constantly looking for a man in need, which no one has taken care of yet. “Depending on the circumstances of time and place… The Church should produce works… for the service of all, especially the poor " (KDK 42). Today, such a pressing problem is the situation of people from the so-called. Third World. They have many civilization needs, economic and religious. The Church stands up for their rights again.
In today's world, people of different religions and beliefs meet each other. In a spirit of love, the Church wishes to cooperate with all people, even differently minded. He preaches and practices tolerance, it supports and facilitates dialogue with believers differently. He strives for unity by showing the world, that "true external social union flows from the union of minds and hearts" (KDK 42).
The Church also watches over peace in the world and therefore rebukes people, "That, in the spirit of the family of the sons of God, they may overcome all disputes between nations and races" (KDK 42).
How will I answer God ?
The world and the Church today need true Christians, living love. Consider, are you sensitive to human poverty and human needs. Can you respect other people's views?, even if they don't suit you ? How you contribute to unity and harmony in your environment ? As you pray at night, consider the content of this religious song :
“Together we go through the world and many people are waiting for your help.
Maybe a friend, maybe a brother,
for faith without works is dead.
Ref.: After this they will know the disciples of Christ, that they want to live with love.
Such a difficult time happens, despite good intentions, nothing works, but maybe try again, for faith without works is dead.
After that they will know…
If you had an open heart and could see, what is wrong with whom and gave some sun to people, because faith without works is dead ".
■ Think :
1. Co św. Paul emphasizes as the most important in the life of a Christian ?
2. Kto przez Kościół nadal obdarza ludzi swoją miłością ?
3. Od kiedy Bóg w nas i przez nas kocha innych ludzi ?
4. Wymień kilka dzieł charytatywnych Kościoła z dawnych wieków.
5. Jakie zadania miłości stoją przed Kościołem w czasach obecnych ?
4. Kiedy Kościół jest znakiem miłości w świecie ?
The Church is a sign of love in the world, when its members live love and show it to all people.
5. Komu chrześcijanie powinni okazywać miłość ?
Christians should show love for one another and for all people, especially the needy, unhappy and abandoned.
■ Task :
1. Why is St.. Vincent de Paul took care of the galley workers in France (1619 r.) ?
2. Kto to był Brat Albert (Adam Chmielowski) ? - what the Albertine brothers do ?
3. Co wiesz o ojcu Janie Beyzymie, who took care of lepers in Madagascar ?