St. Paul Philippians 3:12Douay-Rheims
12 Not as though I has already attained, or were already perfect; but I follow after, if I may by any means apprehend, wherein I am also apprehended by Christ Jesus.
Love is sufficient of itself, it gives pleasure by itself and because of itself. It is its own merit,
its own reward. Love looks for no cause outside itself, no effect beyond itself.
Its profit lies in its practice. I love because I love, I love that I may love.
Love is a great thing so long as it continually returns to its fountainhead, flows
back to its source, always drawing from there the water which constantly replenishes it.
Of all the movements, sensations and feelings of the soul, love is the only one in
which the creature can respond to the Creator and make some sort of similar return
however unequal though it be. For when God loves, all he desires is to be loved in return;
the sole purpose of his love is to be loved, in the knowledge that those who love him are made
happy by their love of him.
The Bridegroom’s love, or rather the love which is the Bridegroom, asks in return
nothing but faithful love. Let the beloved, then, love in return. Should not a bride love,
and above all, Love’s bride? Could it be that Love not be loved?
Rightly then does she give up all other feelings and give herself wholly to love alone;
in giving love back, all she can do is to respond to love. And when she has poured out
her whole being in love, what is that in comparison with the unceasing torrent of
that original source? Clearly, lover and Love, soul and Word, bride and Bridegroom,
creature and Creator do not flow with the same volume; one might as well equate a
thirsty man with the fountain.
What then of the bride’s hope, her aching desire, her passionate love, her confident assurance?
Is all this to wilt just because she cannot match stride for stride with her giant, any more than
she can vie with honey for sweetness, rival the lamb for gentleness, show herself as white as the
lily, burn as bright as the sun, be equal in love with him who is Love? No. It is true that the
creature loves less because she is less. But if she loves with her whole being, nothing is
lacking where everything is given. To love so ardently then is to share the marriage bond;
she cannot love so much and not be totally loved, and it is in the perfect union of
two hearts that complete and total marriage consists.
Or are we to doubt that the soul is loved by the Word first and with a greater love?
5 It is absolutely heard, that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as the like is not among the heathens; that one should have his father's wife.
2 And you are puffed up; and have not rather mourned, that he might be taken away from
among you, that hath done this deed.
3 I indeed, absent in body, but present in spirit, have already judged, as though I
were present, him that hath so done,
4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, you being gathered together, and my spirit,
with the power of our Lord Jesus;
5 To deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be
saved in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
6 Your glorying is not good. Know you not that a little leaven corrupteth the whole lump?
7 Purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new paste, as you are unleavened. For Christ
our pasch is sacrificed.
8 Therefore let us feast, not with the old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness;
but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
9 I wrote to you in an epistle, not to keep company with fornicators.
10 I mean not with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or the extortioners, or
the servers of idols; otherwise you must needs go out of this world.
11 But now I have written to you, not to keep company, if any man that is named a brother,
be a fornicator, or covetous, or a server of idols, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner:
with such a one, not so much as to eat.
12 For what have I to do to judge them that are without? Do not you judge them that are within?
13 For them that are without, God will judge. Put away the evil one from among yourselves.
to be continued...
|Bishops march for life in Abuja, Nigeria|
"Now you come to tell us about reproductive rights, and you give us condoms and artificial contraceptives. Those are not the things we want. We want food, we want education, we want good roads, regular light, and so on. Good health care."His Excellency's strong intervention echoes what he said in June this year at a pro-life conferenceorganized by the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Nigeria in Abuja when I had the honour of addressing a private meeting of the Catholic bishops. At their pro-life conference, Archbishop Kaigama said that Nigerians refuse to be terrorised by the abortion lobby.
We are confronted with some issues, and sometimes [they are] quite perplexing. We recently had a big conference on pro-life issues, and in that conference, we came out very clearly to ascertain the fact that life is sacred, marriage is scared, and the family has dignity.Our Voice of the Family team had the great honour of meeting His Excellency Archbishop Kaigama and Bishop Osei Bonsu, the president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Ghana and Bishop of Konongo-Mampong, last weekend in Rome just before the Synod began.
We get international organizations, countries, and groups which like to entice us to deviate from our cultural practices, traditions, and even our religious beliefs. And this is because of their belief that their views should be our views. Their opinions and their concept of life should be ours.
We say, "No we have come of age." Most countries in Africa are independent for 50, 60, 100 years. We should be allowed to think for ourselves. We should be able to define: What is marriage? What makes the family? When does life begin? We should have answers to those [questions].
We are wooed by economic things. We are told, "If you limit your population, we're going to give you so much." And we tell them, "Who tells you that our population is overgrown?" In the first place, children die -- infant mortality -- we die in inter-tribal wars, and diseases of all kinds. And yet, you come with money to say, "Decrease your population; we will give you economic help."
Now you come to tell us about reproductive rights, and you give us condoms and artificial contraceptives. Those are not the things we want. We want food, we want education, we want good roads, regular light, and so on. Good health care.
We have been offered the wrong things, and we are expected to accept simply because they think we are poor. And we are saying poverty is not about money. One can be poor in spirituality, poor in ideas, poor in education, and in many other ways.
So we are not poor in that sense. We may be poor materially but we are not poor in every sense. So we say no to what we think is wrong. And time has gone when we would just follow without question. Now, we question. We evaluate. We decide. We ask questions. This is what we do in Africa now.