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Sunday, 19 August 2012

See How They Love One Another

The passage I have been contemplating this week is from Ephesians 4:30-5:2. One of the marks of this section is that St. Paul is writing to the community of Christians. This is a passage for mature Christians and not for newbies.

What do I mean? In this Church of Nice, to which I referred in January on this blog, so many people are afraid to speak out against sin, vice, evil in the world, or politics, or in families. I have written about this earlier this week in the posts on tough love.

I lived in a community for seven years. It was a great, but very hard experience. Some people were judgmental and some were not involved. Some were intense and some superficial. Some were humble and some were control freaks. One learned how to love all in Christ. This did not mean glossing over differences or sin, but helping each other is a spirit of love to overcome evil and become personally holy. When those outside the community saw how we treated each other, they were drawn to us and through us to Christ.

I did not stay as I discerned that I did not have a permanent commitment to that community.

However, the lessons of self-giving and discipline, such as the fact that we got up and had daily prayer at 5:30 a.m. have stayed with me to a certain extent.

Also, the giving up of self in small things, like space, time, plans was learned. Some of us learned these things in family life, but community, focussed on Christ and His Love, brought these virtues to a different perfection.

St. Paul was not talking about ignoring flaws. He assumed that the Christians were repenting daily and learning to love. He was fine-tuning the work of the Holy Spirit.

His lessons are lessons for family life as well.