Church Fathers, Day Ninety-Seven: St. Augustine says do what’s appropriate, but always in love

Church Fathers, Day Ninety-Seven: St. Augustine says do what’s appropriate, but always in love October 26, 2014

st_augustine_1Do what’s appropriate, but always in love

We can’t always be doing everything, says St. Augustine. We need to judge what kind of work is appropriate to the time. But love must always direct all our works.

You should do one kind of work one time, another kind of work another time, according to the days. Are you always to be talking? Always to keep silence? Always to be refreshing the body? Always fasting? Always giving bread to the hun­gry? Always clothing the naked? Always visiting the sick? Always making peace among those who disagree? Always burying the dead?

No—now this, now that. You take up these tasks, and then stop.

But what commands all your inner forces, like an emperor, has no beginning and should never stop. Let inner love have no intermission, but do the works of love according to the time. As it is written, “Let brotherly love continue” (Hebrews 13:1).

St. Augustine, Homily 8 on the First Epistle of John, 2

IN GOD’S PRESENCE, CONSIDER . . .

Does everything I do begin with love?

Have I tried to discern what love is prompting me to do today?

CLOSING PRAYER

Father, when I do the work to which you have called me, let it both sustain my own life on earth and build up your Kingdom.

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