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Friday, March 8, 2024

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St. John of God

Hosea 14:2-10
Psalm 81:6-11, 14, 17
Mark 12:28-34

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addiction to self or love of self?

“I will heal their defection, I will love them freely.” —Hosea 14:5 “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” —Mark 12:31

We human beings are addicted to ourselves because of our fallen nature. We are “self-aholics” and egomaniacs. We are naturally preoccupied with ourselves and automatically live to “do our own thing.”

Sometimes this addiction to self is passed off as a love for ourselves. However, addiction to self is closer to self-hatred than to self-love. For example, a person in an emotionally and/or sexually addictive relationship does not have true love for the other person. That person is using the other person and probably is being used and abused himself or herself.

How can we break free of our addiction to self so that we can love ourselves and thereby love our neighbor as ourselves? Only Jesus’ love can break the spell of self so that we no longer live for ourselves but for Him (2 Cor 5:15). We love God, ourselves, or anyone because the Lord first loved us (1 Jn 4:19). When we receive God’s love, we stop being preoccupied with ourselves and start to love Him with all our hearts, all our souls, all our minds, and all our strength (Mk 12:30). As we are baptized into, immersed into the Lord’s love, we forget about ourselves and, paradoxically, begin to love ourselves (see Mt 10:39). Receive His love. Give His love to Him, yourself, and others.

Prayer:  Father, give me so much love for You and for myself that I will love my enemies.

Promise:  “Return, O Israel, to the Lord, your God; you have collapsed through your guilt.” —Hos 14:2

Praise:  St. John of God repented of a life of sinfulness, took the name of God as his own, and founded the Brothers Hospitallers, now a worldwide religious order.

Reference:  (For a related teaching on Divine Love, listen to, download or order our CD 52-3 or DVD 52 on our website.)

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The Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.