A New Commandment

At the Last Supper, Christ said to His disciples: “A new commandment I give unto you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”

“The true significance of the ‘new commandment’ which our Saviour gave at His Last Supper, and all that He and His holy Apostles have taught about charity, is explained by the doctrine of Divine grace. We must love our neighbour because he has been made a partaker of the Divine nature by grace, that by the same means he has been elevated above his own nature, that he is unspeakably dear to his Redeemer and is destined, if he persevere to the end, to an eternal weight of glory in heaven.”

“Not his human nature, but the Divine nature which is impressed upon him—not so much he himself, in or by himself, but rather God who is united to him in grace, must be the motive of our love; and therefore we must embrace him with the same supernatural love which we bear towards our good and merciful God Himself. Is he not by grace a brother, and, what is more, a living member of Jesus Christ? And can we love Christ without loving at the same time in Him, and with Him, His brothers and His members? Is he not by grace a temple in which the Holy Spirit resides truly and personally with His whole Divinity, as the soul in the body? And can we, then, think of separating in our affection what Divine love has so intimately and inseparably united?”

“Grace, moreover, brings us most closely together in a spiritual manner; we are all children of God, brethren in God, stones of the Divine temple, and members of the same mystic Body of Christ. To each one Our Lord’s promise is that He will guard them ‘as the apple of His eye,’ and that ‘he that touches you touches Me.’ How, therefore, will He suffer one of His children to be ill-treated, neglected, or maligned, without visiting the culprit with His indignation?”

Quotations from Alice Lady Lovat, The Marvels of Divine Grace: Meditations Based on the “Glories of Divine Grace” (Original Treatise by Fr. Nieremberg, S.J., Entitled “Del Aprecio y Estima de la Divina Gracia”) (London: R. & T. Washbourne, Ltd., 1917).

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