Loving our neighbor

I’ve been following this young rabbi since he first came to Galilee. I go to hear him whenever I can, and everyone in the village is talking about him.

He talks a lot about love—love of God, love of neighbor. A few days ago he talked for a long time about how blessed it is to be poor in spirit, merciful and pure of heart.

But today he had a message that was in sharp contrast: if we don’t act out of love, we can expect to be punished! I was shocked at first, but then I realized: how can I claim to be merciful or pure of heart if I approach God while nursing grievances against my brother? How can I claim to “love my neighbor as myself” if I’m lashing out in anger?

Love is not abstract!

—Barbara Lee is a spiritual director, an Ignatian Volunteer, and the author of God Isn’t Finished With Me Yet: Discovering the Spiritual Graces of Later Life published by Loyola Press





Troy Bengford