Sermon for the Octave of the Holy Innocents – January 4, 2011 by Father Smith
Caritas enim Christi urget nos!
Hear, O Israel: the Lord thy God is one God. And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart and with thy whole soul and with thy whole mind and with thy whole strength! Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself! (St. Mark11:29-31)
The first act of faith is to believe that God loves us: And this is His commandment: That we should believe in the Name of His Son, and love one another, as He hath given commandment unto us…In this is charity: not as though we had loved God, but because He hath first loved us, and sent His Son to be a propitiation for our sins. (1 Saint John 3:23; 4:10)
God loves my neighbor through me.
I love my neighbor by loving God in him.
I am loved by God, which fills me with the Love of God. To love my neighbor as myself is to give to him what has been given to me: the Love of God. If I love God, I will love my neighbor in whom the Love of God dwells. I am loved not for my own sake, but for the glory of God. My neighbor is loved not for his own sake, but as I am loved for the glory of God.
I love God with my whole mind by believing Him when He reveals His love for me.
I love God with my whole heart by desiring nothing but the Love of God and to love God.
I love God with my whole soul insofar as I will only God’s love in me, from me, and for my neighbor.
I love God with my whole strength by obeying the law of Love in my every thought, word, deed, and desire.
If I believe the Word of God, then I believe that God loves me, that God wills my salvation, that God gives me His selfsame power to love Him, my neighbor, and His Law; if I believe in the Love of God, my hope of salvation and perfection in grace is grounded in Truth, is rooted in Wisdom, and is certain of attainment, for all things are possible with the Love of God.