The Debt of Mutual Love [1]

How different would the world be if everyone hearkened to St. Paul’s exhortation to “Avoid getting into debt, except the debt of mutual love.[2]

How different the world would be if everyone thought of thinking and acting in this fruit of the Holy Spirit and abiding by the commandments. A moment’s hesitation and one can so easily act out of indifference, out of sourness, out of dislike rather than love. Yes, have a moment of hesitation, but let it be one when one acknowledges that the power of grace is there to help us choose the right way. The way of love. The One who calls us to follow him who is “The Way, the Truth and the Life.[3]

Recall too how “Love is the one thing that cannot hurt your neighbour; that it is why it is the answer to every one of the commandments.[4]

Love involves forgiveness. Forgiveness of ourselves and of our neighbour. “If your brother does something wrong, go and have it out with him alone…if he listens to you, you have won back your brother.”[5]

St. Augustine of Hippo teaches us about love “It is true that love renews those who listen to it (or rather, those who act in obedience to it) but it is that particular love which the Lord distinguished from all carnal affection by adding love one another as I have loved you.[6]

How different the world would be if everyone realizes how much we are loved by our Lord and Saviour and we are called to love our neighbour. This is not impossible because To love as Christ has loved us is a gift of pure grace.”[7]

So, accept this gift of pure grace and get into debt, a lot of debt, the debt of mutual love.

Sr. Rosaleen Shaw OP

[1] Rom.13:8-10

[2] Ibid.

[3] Jn. 14:16

[4] Rom. 13:10

[5] Matt.18:15


[7] Bishop David McGough - Catholic Herald 4 Sep 2014

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