Christ’s message to bloggers: “Love one another.”

“Love one another,” says Jesus. That means loving people, not judging them. That means bearing with them when we disagree with them, not attacking them at the slightest hint of a difference of opinion on church teaching. That means giving them the benefit of the doubt, not jumping down their throats when you think they’ve made a mistake. That means assuming that they too love God and the church, just like you do, maybe even more. That means hoping the best for them, not damning them if you think that they’re not “orthodox.” What’s more, “Love one another” doesn’t mean saying, “I love you so very much that I must tell you what a terrible Catholic you are, and how very much in error you are, and how you should just leave the church because you’re not a true believer like I am (because, of course, I can see within your soul).” Yes, one of the Spiritual Works of Mercy is to “Admonish the Sinner,” but that presumes an actual love, a heartfelt love, for the person, and most of the admonishing that is done these days seems suffused instead with hate. All of the Spiritual Works of Mercy–and the Corporal Works, too–are useless without love. Love one another. Leave the judging to Jesus.”

— Fr. James Martin, on his Facebook page

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