Commentary of the Day

"Love your enemies"
by Saint Caesarius of Arles (470-543), monk and Bishop

In all these works of true and perfect charity I am telling you about nothing is to be done with hand or foot – in other words, no one can say they are incapable of them or too weak. (…) No one can plausibly raise any kind of excuse against them saying that they are unable to put these counsels into practice. For you are not being told: "Fast more than you are able, stay awake all night more than you have the strength to do!" (…); no one is obliging you to sell all your goods and give everything to the poor or to remain a virgin. (…) Let someone who can do all these things give thanks to God. And let someone who cannot, maintain true charity and they will possess everything in this. For love suffices even without all those good works but those good works without love are wholly useless. That is why I am saying and repeating these things to you, dearest brethren, so that you may ever more fully understand that no one can claim they are incapable of carrying out God's commandments. So hold fast to the sweet and salutary bond of love without which the rich are poor and with which the poor are rich. What do the rich possess if not charity? (…) And since "God is love," (1 Jn 4:8) as John the evangelist says, what can the poor lack if they merit to possess God by means of charity? (…) So love, dearest brethren, and hold fast to charity without which no one will ever see God.

    dailygospel.org


From: Sermons addressed to the people, no. 23, 3; SC 243