Day Five

St. Dominic's Love for His Neighbor

"This is my commandment that you love one another as I have loved you."  (John xv. 12)

As St. Dominic loved God for His own sake, so he loved his neighbor in God and for God.  In each individual he saw a soul redeemed by Christ, and this loved and longed to save.

No sacrifice for the welfare of his neighbor daunted him.  When a student he sold all his books, then far more precious than now, in order to relieve the poor.  Twice he offered himself to be sold into slavery that other might be assisted.  He knew no distinction of persons.  He yielded no distinction of persons.  He yielded to no personal likes or dislikes.  The image of his Divine Master, which he saw in every soul, was the power which moved him.  His prayers, his tears, his vigils, his sufferings, his penances, were nearly all offered for others.  Three times nightly he scourged himself, once for the souls in purgatory, once for sinners, and once for himself.  He worked miracles to feed his brethren; and after his long watches before the altar, he would go from cell to cell to see that his children were protected, carefully arranging the covering of those who had disturbed it during sleep.  Seldom speaking but of God or to God he was never known to utter an unkind or uncharitable word.  Ever returning good for evil, ever full of gentleness and sweetness, he lived only for God's glory and the salvation of his neighbor.

Practice

True love for God must ever include love for neighbor.  "If any man," says St. John, "say I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar."  Let us examine our hearts.  What are our thoughts, our words and our deeds towards our neighbors?  Do we wish them good?  Do we speak well of them?  Do we tell their faults, or do we conceal them, and pray for them?  Do we assist them in distress?  Do we endeavor to advance their salvation?  Do we contribute to their happiness whenever we can?  Is the motive of our love always pure?  Are we not often guided solely by our sympathies or our aversions?  Do we see God in our neighbor?  Do we see souls redeemed by Jesus Christ?  Are we willing to return good for evil?  Are we willing to make any sacrifice for others?  Do we love God in our neighbor, and do we seek His glory in the welfare of our neighbor?

Holy Father St. Dominic, pity our weakness.  Make us faithful imitators of your ardent charity for me.

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