Purgatory

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“Purgatory, often imagined as a place, is actually a condition. Someone who dies in God’s grace (and therefore at peace with God and men) but who still needs purification before he can see God face to face is in purgatory. When Peter had betrayed Jesus, the Lord turned around and looked at Peter: ‘And Peter went out and wept bitterly’-a feeling like being in Purgatory. Just such a purgatory probably awaits most of us at the moment of our death: the Lord looks at us full of love- and we experience burning shame and painful remorse over our wicked or ‘merely’ unloving behavior. Only after this purifying pain will we be capable of meeting his loving gaze in untroubled heavenly joy.” YOUCAT (159)

Why is it that so many people, Catholics and Protestants alike, have such a hard time believing in the Catholic doctrine of Purgatory? Purgatory for me is so very simple and such a beautiful teaching of the Church. It is God’s great gift to us, his children, because he knows how hard it would be for most of us to achieve perfection during our earthly lives. He gives us this most incredible grace after we die to be purified of all stain of venial sin, selfishness and all of our attachments to our sins in order that we may be able to come face-to-face with Him in Heaven forever. Purgatory, according to the Catholic Bible Dictionary, is the Latin word for cleansing or purifying. It is an infirmary for souls. It would hurt us too much to be in the presence of the Almighty God, who is infinitely perfect, infinitely Holy, infinitely Just, if we were not perfected and so he affords us this gift to spiritually cleanse us before coming to heaven to be with Him for all eternity. “Nothing unclean will enter it.” (Revelation 21:27)

When you go to meet a friend for dinner or you go to an important meeting at work, do you take a shower and put on your best clothes or do you just wear the same clothes that you’ve been wearing all day? When we meet someone very special or go to an important event in our lives, we clean ourselves up, we make ourselves look our very best, don’t we? Don’t you think then we should all the more be spotless before seeing God? Well, God in His infinite wisdom, gave us Purgatory so that we could get spiritually cleansed before seeing Him.

As with so many teachings of the Catholic Church, there are so many people who believe the Church “invented” the doctrine of purgatory; they couldn’t be farther from the truth. And as with all of the teachings of the Church, the teaching of Purgatory is deeply rooted in Sacred Scripture. The Ancient Jewish people believed in an intermediate state between earth and heaven. It is so beautifully evidenced in the Old Testament Scriptures. In Jesus’ time, the Jewish people believed that yes, there was a state of the soul after death that they could go to be cleansed of their sins. They even prayed and offered sacrifices for their loved ones who had died. Pious Jews did then and they still do now even to this day; they consider it necessary. It is further evidenced by the passage in 2 Maccabees:

“On the following day, since the task had now become urgent, Judas and his men went to gather up the bodies of the slain and bury them with their kinsmen in their ancestral tombs. But under the tunic of each of the dead they found amulets sacred to the idols of Jamnia, which the law forbids the Jews to wear. So it was clear to all that this was why these men had been slain. They all therefore praised the ways of the Lord, the just judge who brings to light the things that are hidden. Turning to supplication, they prayed that the sinful deed might be fully blotted out. The noble Judas warned the soldiers to keep themselves free from sin, for they had seen with their own eyes what had happened because of the sin of those who had fallen. He then took up a collection among all his soldiers, amounting to two thousand silver drachmas, which he sent to Jerusalem to provide for an expiatory sacrifice. In doing this he acted in a very excellent and noble way, inasmuch as he had the resurrection of the dead in view; for if he were not expecting the fallen to rise again, it would have been useless and foolish to pray for them in death. But if he did this with a view to the splendid reward that awaits those who had gone to rest in godliness, it was a holy and pious thought. Thus he made atonement for the dead that they might be freed from this sin.” (2 Maccabees 12:39-45)

Now of course, Protestants do not consider the books of Maccabees to be inspired by God. We, as Catholic Christians do. However, even if you do not accept these books as inspired, you certainly must admit that it is truly a historical book. This is not fictional by any means. It is indicative of the life and beliefs of the Jewish people during Jesus’ time. In fact the Maccabeen revolt was about a century and a half before Jesus was born. Even if you will not admit the truth of the inspired word, you cannot refute history, can you? The Jewish people in fact reverence and consider the Maccabees books to be sacred.

I find it absolutely disheartening that there are even Catholics out there who refuse to believe in Purgatory considering Jesus himself spoke of it in Sacred Scripture. The most telling passage in my study of Scripture is in Matthew’s Gospel, “Therefore, I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. And whoever speaks against the Son of Man will be forgiven; but whoever speaks against the holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.” (Matthew 12:31-32) Now, I know that I am not a Bible scholar or a theologian but from this verse it is quite clear to me that there is obviously somewhere in between earth and heaven and it is not hell. Jesus is specifically saying here, is He not, that there is an age to come where sins can be forgiven? Well, if you are already in heaven you have no need to be forgiven anymore and if you are in hell there is no chance for further forgiveness; so quite clearly there is another place and Sacred Tradition indeed calls this place Purgatory. Saint Gregory the Great, pope and Doctor of the Church who died in the year 604, so eloquently explained the teaching when he said, “As for certain lesser faults, we must believe that, before the Final Judgment, there is a purifying fire. He who is truth says that whoever utters blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will be pardoned neither in this age nor in the age to come. From this sentence we understand that certain offenses can be forgiven in this age, but certain others in the age to come.” (from CCC 1031)

Our Beloved Saint Paul so obviously believed in Purgatory which had been revealed to him by God, because he wrote so beautifully, “The fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work which any man has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.” (1 Corinthians 3: 13-15) This cleansing fire rids us of our sins which cannot enter into heaven. It is the fire of our eternal salvation. The works that are burned up are our sinful works. This verse is quite clear and I don’t think it needs further explanation, do you?

Now, you may indeed wonder who goes to Purgatory. Does everyone go? Well, I am positive that many of the Saints have gone straight to the arms of our Lord after their bodily death. However, I am also sure that the majority of us will have to undergo purification before reaching heaven. At least I know I will, for I indeed am a great sinner and pray that I’ll be found worthy of Purgatory. The more I read about the lives of the Saints, the more I realize how far I have to progress in the spiritual life to achieve their level of holiness. This should not discourage us in our journey of salvation but encourage us considering the teaching on the Communion of Saints. As we can help our loved ones on earth by our prayer, we can also pray for the dearly departed in purgatory. They can be helped by our prayers, sufferings, fasting and all of our sacrifices, and as much as we help them, they will indeed help us by their prayers when they reach heaven, whether we are still on earth or when we ourselves are in purgatory. There is only one Church. The Church in Heaven is the Church Triumphant, those on earth are the Church Militant and those in Purgatory are the Church Suffering. Yes, they suffer from the purifying fire, but it is indeed a joyous suffering because they know they have received their eternal reward; it is just a matter of being cleansed of everything that does not allow them to love God perfectly.

Let’s consider this. Suppose there is a thief who steals money from someone. He later regrets it and goes to his victim and begs for forgiveness. The victim forgives him the injustice committed against him but he still has a right to claim restitution, does he not? Or what about an individual who spreads vicious lies about someone then sometime later repents and goes to the person and begs forgiveness. They bestow forgiveness on the person but do you not think the offender should go out into the world and repair the damage done by telling the truth? The person must atone for the sin against his victim even though he has been forgiven. Do you not think that it is all the more necessary for God who is the only just judge, to claim Holy restitution for all of the sins we have committed against Him during our entire lives? Yes, God is all merciful and He is all just. It is a perfect balance that we will never in our weak, human minds be able to comprehend during this life on earth. The Lord of lords in His great goodness works that all out in a way only known to Him. Why do so many people believe they have God all figured out? If we knew everything about God, then he wouldn’t be God, would he? God is the greatest mystery! Yet, we must all find a way to understand that He is entitled to our making up for our sins against Him. Yes, He forgives us if we are truly sorry, but we must still pay the debt to His Infinite Justice for our sins that have been forgiven and if we don’t do it during our earthly life by our prayers, penances, fasts and sacrifices, then it must be done in purgatory.

Saint John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church (died 407), said it quite well when he said, “Let us help and commemorate them. If Job’s sons were purified by their father’s sacrifice, why would we doubt that our offerings for the dead bring them some consolation? Let us not hesitate to help those who have died and to offer our prayers for them.” (CCC 1032 – see also Job 1:5)

Saints Gregory the Great and John Chrysostom, pray for us and all the holy souls in Purgatory.

Faith without works is dead

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“What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister has nothing to wear and has no food for the day, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,’ but you do not give them the necessities of the body, what good is it? So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” (James 2:14-17)

A very common misconception that has been handed down for centuries about the Catholic Church is that we believe we earn our salvation by good works. Well, The Catholic Church has never nor will she ever teach or believe this falsehood. We do however believe that good works are and should be an integral part of the true Christian way of life. Did Jesus just stay in the comfort and safety of his home in Nazareth? Did he just pray for people while he was in his own home or with his closest disciples? No, He went out and He cured the sick, raised the dead to life, comforted the sorrowful, and so many other acts of kindness and charity towards others too numerous to count. His disciples did the same thing. Are we not called to imitate Christ? Are we not called to perform great acts of kindness as well? Jesus did and, as Christians, we must do the same. We are called to a higher standard because we bear His name. We can’t just sit around and pretend that our brothers and sisters, which include strangers in our country and abroad, don’t need our help or our charity; we must go out into the world and make a difference. We must be Christ for one another.

A few years ago I was at a Halloween festival at a Protestant church with my family and at the end, while we waited for the raffle winner name to be drawn, one of their ministers led everyone in the Jesus prayer. For those of you who do not know what that is, it is a brief prayer of accepting Jesus as your personal Savior and confessing that you believe in Him. After the prayer, the minister told everyone in the crowd that if they really believed what they said then they were going to Heaven. I find this theology so absolutely confusing considering that Jesus himself preached and taught us to do good works. “Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.” (Matthew 5:16) Here, Jesus is telling us that our good deeds will help others to give glory to his Father in Heaven. How can you read this verse and dare to say that good works are not vitally important for our salvation?

Some Protestant Fundamentalists like to use the verse in Ephesians, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is the gift of God; it is not from works, so no one may boast,” (Ephesians 2:8-9) to prove that good works aren’t necessary for salvation. It has been quoted to me a couple of times during my life. However, this verse is telling us that salvation is a pure gift from God and that we as human beings can’t do anything to earn it. It is God’s gift to us. Yes, that is what we Catholics believe as well. They totally take it out of context and try to use it to prove to us that good works aren’t necessary. How can they presume to say this when the entire Bible is filled with passages about loving and being merciful toward our neighbor? What about the parable of the Good Samaritan? (Luke 10:29-37) We do not feel obligated to help our loved ones or neighbors for fear of not attaining heaven, we perform worthy works of charity and good deeds because it is the only right thing to do. We do it out of love for God because we must love as He loves.

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne, and all the nations will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come you who are blessed by my Father, Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me. Then the righteous will answer and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’ And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’ Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison and you did not care for me.’ Then they will answer and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?’ He will answer them, ‘Amen I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’ And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” (Matthew 26: 31-46)

This is one of my favorite Bible passages of Jesus. It summarizes what the Catholic Church teaches about love of neighbor and of the necessity to be charitable towards all people regardless of race, creed, or religion. We cannot ignore other human beings in their need; for when we do that we are completely ignoring Christ. Christ lives in all of us and so we must serve Him in each other. “When her mother reproached her for caring for the poor and the sick at home, Saint Rose of Lima said to her: ‘When we serve the poor and the sick, we serve Jesus. We must not fail to help our neighbors, because in them we serve Jesus.’” (CCC 2449)

I have also heard people saying “We don’t have to do anything, all we have to do is believe in Jesus and we’ll go straight to heaven.” Well, Saint Paul seems to disagree with that for he says “Work out your salvation with fear and trembling. For God is the one who, for his good purpose, works in you both to desire and to work.” (Phillipians 2:12-13) Yes, salvation is a pure gift from Almighty God. However, we must accept it with faith, hope AND CHARITY. Love of God, which is charity, tells us that we have to live out our faith, which is also a gift, by performing acts of love for one another throughout our whole entire life. We should want to help our neighbors. It should come naturally. It is not just a law of God but a law of nature that is written on all of our hearts to want to help our fellow human beings in their time of need.

Let’s consider this for a moment. Suppose you have a child who grows up in a very loving family. He or she does not learn about God from their parents at all. Why? Because the parents were not raised in any faith, they weren’t taken to any church at all by their parents, or were raised in Jewish or Muslim families. And so the child grows up in a very happy household and learns how to be kind and loving and responsible but does not know God or believe in Jesus. When they become an adult and go out into the world they always try to do the right thing. They help their family and friends and they give what they can to charity. They do not break any state laws and are a good citizen. (In college, my sister and I took a religious studies course and for extra credit we went to various religious services. We went to a Muslim gathering and met and befriended two Muslim girls are our own age. They were two of the sweetest, kindest people I knew while I was at Penn State.)

Now, on the other hand let’s think about someone who is raised in a Christian home and taken to church each Sunday but they are taught the theology that ALL you have to do to go to heaven is believe in Jesus. So, when they grow up and they are on their own in the real world they only worry about themselves. They never help their family or friends. They keep all their hard-earned money to themselves and NEVER share it with anyone in need; although, they do continue to believe in Jesus. May I ask you, do you really believe that the latter person was more of a Christian because they professed faith in Christ? They knew who Jesus was and still they did not show Christian charity towards anyone. “That servant who knew his master’s will but did not make preparations nor act in accord with his will shall be beaten severely; and the servant who was ignorant of his master’s will but acted in a way deserving a severe beating shall be beaten only lightly. Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.” (Luke 12:47-48)

We are called to a higher standard because we know about Jesus. It boggles my mind that there are people out in our world who really believe that good works aren’t expected or even necessary in the Christian life. They think once they become a Christian then their salvation is assured and they can live as they please. Martin Luther taught that to his followers and he suffered a great deal at the end of his life because of it. He saw the evil way of life some of his followers led because of his teaching that faith alone assures salvation. As Jesus tells us, “Those on rocky ground are the ones who, when they hear, receive the word with joy, but they have no root; they believe only for a time and fall away in time of trial.” (Luke 8:13) So even Scripture points to the fact that believing Christians can indeed fall away and not persevere to the end of their lives. We can’t just say that we believe in Jesus; we must follow His commandments including loving our neighbor as ourselves. We must ask for the graces we need to live a life worthy of our name of Christian.

Someone extremely special to me has always been amazingly charitable towards my family and I and he professes no faith in Jesus at all, at least as far as I know. He is a very kind and loving person. I know He will be rewarded for his generosity someday. Do you honestly think that because he doesn’t believe in Jesus that his good deeds will be forgotten by God? Why do so many Protestant Christians limit God to the words in the Bible? They quote verse after verse that, they say, proves that only Christians who have faith in Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior go to heaven. Where is that in the Bible, I’d like to know? Do they really believe God is limited to the words on the page? Christianity existed long before the Bible was formed, did it not? The Catholic Church was the Church who collected and preserved the New Testament. People who lived before the Bible was put together were still very much Christians. Just because they didn’t have the Bible didn’t make them any less Christian. And what about all the people who didn’t or still don’t know how to read? Are they any less of a Christian because they can’t read the Bible for themselves? I don’t think so. Jesus never even told his apostles to write a Bible. He told them to teach all nations what He had commanded them. (Matthew 28:20)

The only place the words ‘faith alone’ are used in the Bible is when it is condemned in the letter by Saint James. He says, “See, how a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. For just as a body without a spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.” (James 2:24,26) Good works are a vitally important part of who we are as Christians. The Catholic Church contributes and does so very much for charity in our country and abroad. Do you really believe that we do all of it because we think we are earning our salvation? That is such an absurd thought in my opinion. I have been Catholic all my life. I have been taught by many priests, deacons and learned Catholics. I have read many books on Catholic theology and continue to read and study the catechism and the Bible. I have never, ever read or been taught by anyone that the Catholic Church believes or teaches her faithful that salvation is earned. I would encourage all of you who have been taught this falsehood to do some research and study the real teachings of the Catholic Church.

Saint Rose of Lima, pray for us.

Love One Another

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“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. For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have? Do not the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brothers only, what is unusual about that? Do not the pagans do the same? So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.’” (Matthew 5: 43-48)

Love the abortionist who destroys the innocent life in the mothers’ womb.
Love the one who coerces another to have an abortion.
Love the one who has an abortion.
Love the one who “plays God” and commits euthanasia on another because he/she believes that particular life is not worth living.
Love the one who believes in euthanasia.
Love the one who is anti-Catholic and stops being your friend out of ignorance of the truth of the Faith.
Love the one who abuses a child either physically, emotionally, or sexually.
Love the one who kidnaps a child, teenager or adult.
Love the pedophile.
Love the rapist.
Love the one who watches or victimizes others by pornography.
Love the prostitute and those who participate in sexual trafficking.

“I give you a new commandment: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)

Love the communists and dictators.
Love the government leaders who are persecuting the Catholic Church and all people of good faith and trying to take away our religious freedom.
Love the ones who are trying to turn our great nation into a socialist republic in order to control all of us.
Love the terrorists of 9/11 and all terrorists everywhere.
Love the German authorities who keep homeschooling illegal and persecute those who homeschool there because they believe God has called them to do so and they cannot in good conscience send their children to the state schools.
Love all those who are in power who take children from their parents because they do not agree with homeschooling here in America and abroad.
Love those who vote contrary to God’s laws and vote according to what they themselves have decided is right.
Love those who willingly leave the Holy, Catholic Church and not only deprive themselves but their children a lifetime of receiving the Sacraments and the fullness of truth that Christ came to give us.
Love the spouse who is either verbally or physically abusive.
Love the drug dealers and all those who are drug addicts.
Love the alcoholic who causes chaos in his or her family.
Love those who do not “Keep Holy the Lord’s Day.”

“Take no revenge and cherish no grudge against your fellow countrymen. You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Leviticus 19:18)

Love those who “Take the name of the Lord in vain”.
Love those who do not worship the only True and living God.
Love those who do not honor their mother and father and do not take care of their family on earth.
Love those who kill.
Love those who commit adultery.
Love those who steal.
Love those who lie.
Love the employer who does not treat his employees fairly.
Love those who go into schools and kill children and adults.
Love those who insult, criticize, and exclude us.
Love those who are in gangs or the mafia and cause horrible crimes to happen.
Love those who abandon their family.

“You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:37-40)

Love those who gossip.
Love those who do not believe in, know, or love God.
Love those who are prejudiced.
Love those who participate in genocide.
Love those who are in power and keep for themselves while their people suffer from destitute poverty.
Love the multi-millionaires who accept so much money while there are people starving to death all over the world.
Love those who will not donate anything to charity.
Love the Alzheimer’s patient who is severely confused.
Love those who suffer in any way.
Love the driver who cuts you off in traffic.
Love the “Cafeteria Catholics” who give the faithful a bad name.
Love the media who distort and lie about the Catholic Church and all the good that She does.

“So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:13)

Love the atheist groups who try and succeed at removing God from the public sphere.
Love the one who does not allow prayer or talk of God in public schools.
Love the one who does not treat the immigrant fairly.
Love all those who started the Protestant Revolt in the 1500s who caused modern day moral relativism as we know it.
Love the ones in China who impose and enforce a one-child only policy and therefore force abortion, sterilizations, and abandonment of newborns by their own mothers.
Love the jurists who convict innocent people.
Love the one who calls someone a bad name.
Love the priests who teach unorthodox teachings during Holy Mass.
Love the Protestant theologians who teach heresy.
Love all those in government in our country and abroad who are trying to take away parental rights.
Love the one who is apathetic to following God’s laws.
Love those who had slaves and continue to have them.

“Since you have purified yourselves by obedience to the truth for sincere mutual love, love one another intensely from a pure heart.” (1 Peter 1:22)

Love those who do not believe that ALL human life has dignity and believe that it is dispensable.
Love those who are more concerned about our environment, saving the endangered animals and preserving national parks than about saving the unborn baby in the womb.
Love those who do not think they can do anything about stopping abortion so they don’t do anything.
Love those who produce and act in movies that would never be acceptable in God’s eyes.
Love those who allow 9-year-olds in Bangladesh to work 12 hours a day in a sewing sweat shop instead of providing food for their family.
Love all those that do not help feed the poor in our country and across the globe.
Love those who do not think that they themselves can make a difference.
Love those who do not respect the religious belief and practice of others.
Love those who start unnecessary wars where innocent lives are destroyed.
Love the drunk driver who injures or takes the life of himself or others on the road.
Love the one who takes his or her own life and leaves their loved ones behind in confusion and unimaginable grief.
Love the one who commits horrible atrocities against infants and children.

“Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God. Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love.” (1 John 4:7-8)

Love the ones who passed laws and continue to pass and enforce laws that allow millions of unborn babies to be murdered in the womb.
Love the ones who defend Planned Parenthood and even thank them for what they do.
Love the ones who take our tax dollars and give it to Planned Parenthood even though it goes against our consciences and moral convictions.
Love those who think they can redefine what marriage IS.
Love the one who teaches their child that God does not exist.
Love those who refuse to allow their children to be baptized.
Love those who mock those who believe in God and live godly lives.
Love those who truly believe that all non-Christians will go to hell.
Love those who believe that ALL they have to do is believe in Jesus and they will go straight to Heaven.
Love those who deport immigrants, separating family members from one another.
Love those who ignore and stomp on Mary, the Mother of Almighty God.
Love the one who teaches others including children to Hate.

“Beloved, if God so loved us, we also must love one another.” (1 John 4: 11)

Love the one who evicts someone, even a family, from their home because they do not have the money to pay their rent or mortgage and they become homeless.
Love the homeless and help them in any way you can.
Love those in prison.
Love those who stop being friends with a family member or friend because they are in prison.
Love those who believe that they can interpret Sacred Scripture for themselves.
Love the smoker who stands right at the entrance to a building so that you have to walk past when you enter or leave and breathe in second hand smoke.
Love the one who drives recklessly and causes horrible accidents to occur.
Love the one who prescribes and gives out prescriptions or over-the-counter drugs that are abortion-inducing contraceptives and cause horrible side effects to women including death.
Love the ones who allow capital punishment to continue and actually perform the capital punishment.
Love the government leaders in our country who have NO respect for the Constitution or the Bill of Rights.
Love the ones who do not respect our Founding Fathers Christian principles.
Love the one who HATES you.

Love is a decision of the will. It is not a feeling that we can turn on and off whenever the mood strikes. It is not conditional, as on a trial basis when the person or situation suits us. Jesus loves everyone at all times and so must we, no matter how hard it can be. He knew all the sins that had been committed since the beginning of time and all the sins that would ever be committed until the end of time and He still willingly chose to die for us out of LOVE for us. God, who became man in Christ Jesus could forgive and love his murderers from the cross, who are we to not forgive those who trespass against us? Who are we to not love and forgive all those who commit small and monumental injustices against us, our loved ones and our world? Jesus suffered far more than all of the people on the earth ever have or ever will put together until the end of time. Who are we not to love one another? Who are we not to pray for all people, even our enemies?

When we love those who we vehemently disagree with, who we know without a doubt have not chosen the right or godly path, then just maybe by our example of love towards them, their hearts will change and they will come to know the truth of God’s laws. It is only by our example of Christian love that hearts will change. We cannot force people to believe the truth and to act or believe the way God would have them. It has to come from inside themselves. It is only in loving ALL people everywhere at all times that this will be possible. We must be the example of love and mercy that we want to see in the world. We are the ones who have to make a difference. It is not someone else’s job to love the least among us. It is mine and yours. We are ALL children of God made in His image and likeness. “God created man in his image; in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:27) So you see, it is very simple; we love others because God first loved us. We must love the sinner and hate the sin. There is a huge difference and so many people in our world get this very mixed up.

O my God, I love you above all things, with my whole heart and soul, because You are all-good and worthy of all love. I love my neighbor as myself for the love of you. I forgive all who have injured me, and ask pardon of all whom I have injured. Amen (Act of Love)