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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

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St. Robert Bellarmine

1 Corinthians 12:31—13:13
Psalm 33:2-5, 12, 22
Luke 7:31-35

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do you love?

"If I give everything I have to feed the poor and hand over my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing." —1 Corinthians 13:3

Without love, even the best things in your life mean nothing. Therefore, the most important questions in the world are: Do you love the Lord with all your heart and soul? (Lk 10:27) Do you love your neighbor as yourself? (Lk 10:27) Do you love your brothers and sisters in Christ? (1 Jn 4:7) Do you love your enemies? (Lk 6:27, 35) Are you growing in love?

To answer these questions, we must know the meaning of love. "The way we came to understand love was that [Jesus] laid down His life for us; we too must lay down our lives for our brothers" and sisters (1 Jn 3:16). Love is not a feeling or an experience; rather, it is a commitment to be faithful to others even if we must die for them. Love is long-suffering and bearing others' burdens (see 1 Cor 13:4). It is not jealous, proud, and selfish; it is forgiving (see 1 Cor 13:5). The perfect picture of love is Jesus hanging on the cross. "There is no greater love than this: to lay down one's life" (Jn 15:13). "It is precisely in this that God proves His love for us" (Rm 5:8).

To love authentically, more deeply, and even completely (see 1 Jn 4:12, 17, 18), we must become purified. We are purified by obedience, especially by obeying the Lord in being faithful and true to the people He puts in our lives (1 Pt 1:22).

"God is Love" (1 Jn 4:8, 16). Live in love (Jn 15:9-10).

Prayer:  Father, may love displace fear in my life (1 Jn 4:18).

Promise:  "Love never fails." —1 Cor 13:8

Praise:  St. Robert was the great nephew of Pope Marcellus II and spiritual father of St. Aloysius Gonzaga. Brilliant in Church teaching, Robert found his faith in the person of Jesus Christ.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape on Divine Love on audio AV 52-3 or video V-52.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 19, 2014

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