“Even if some, by their sins, have become unworthy of God’s grace, as long as they live, they are always capable of being converted and of being readmitted to loving intimacy with their heavenly Father.” (Divine Intimacy #260 by Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, OCD) The extent of fraternal charity is that there are no exceptions.
We often tend to base our love for others on how our neighbor relates to ourselves.
Does he like us?
Does he show us consideration?
Does he serve us in some way?
Do we find him pleasant?
Love like this really shows how selfish we are in our relations with our neighbor. Selfishness profoundly effects our charity towards others. Time spent in reflection on our selfishness will help in planning for the future so that we can overcome these selfish tendencies and truly love our neighbor for God’s sake.
Look at one of the hard sayings of Jesus in Mt 5:43-45:
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.”
Love your enemies? Pray for those who persecute you? Isn’t our instinctive reaction just simply to avoid them? There is no desire to do good or bad to them and yet Jesus tells us to love them and to pray for them. To pray for them is to love them …for God’s sake with the hope that they will return to that loving intimacy with our Heavenly Father. God still loves them (no exceptions) for “he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good”. As children of this heavenly Father we should love them too.