Saints and Saintly Dominicans – 5 January

Fifth Lesson of the Infant Jesus. Charity.

One might say that this lesson is the first, the last and indeed the only lesson of Our Saviour, so greatly does it surpass and so well sum up all the others. Saint Albert the Great, O.P., invites us to imitate this charity by practicing mercy and concord towards our neighbor.

(1) Mercy leads us to give alms till we have nothing left, to pardon injuries even before being asked and to strive to obtain the pardon of Heaven for the sinner.

(2) The spirit of unity and concord makes us conform our ideas to those of our neighbor in what concerns our service of God, and to conform our conduct in eating, drinking, sleeping and our ordinary actions to the customs of those around us, in all that is not contrary to the law of God, in order to gain souls to Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus Himself sets us an example of these two forms of charity; He acts before He teaches. Good example is a form of preaching within the reach of all and often the most fruitful, reaching the heart with all gentleness. At any rate, it is the most binding on us. It was this which so attracted Blessed Father Peter to our Order, he was witness of the conduct and bearing of the first companions of Saint Dominic. “All their members were turned into tongues,” he says.

Prayer

Preserve us, O God, from being a cause of scandal to even one of Thy little ones.

Practice

Strive to repair this year the disedification given during the past one, and meditate on this maxim of Blessed Osanna, O.P.: “That day is lost on which you have done nothings to help your neighbor.”