Loving One's Nighbour as Oneself




St. Joseph Custodian of the two hearts

Father Hewko, in a moving sermon about the n-sspx betrayal of Archbishop Lefebvre's legacy begged his audience to pray for Bishop Fellay. His plea registered deeply in my own heart giving it a wake-up call. I had been concentrating my prayers soley on priests who were fighting for the Church as in the SSPX-MC et al. Father Hewko seemed for that moment to put himself in the place of Bishop Fellay and to my eyes, he seemed to experienced a true fear of God on behalf of the Bishop...for he said, "If I had signed that document I would go to hell". He was referring to the passage where Bishop Fellay claimed the Novus Ordo Mass to be legitimate.

His fear on behalf of Bishop Fellay communicated itself to me, and I realised the lack of true charity my selective prayers displayed. It was as if I was being told to look into my own heart to see where my prayers were wanting. What I found there was that when I beseech God to forgive me my sins (in true fear of God and true contrition) then it is in the same fear that I must beseech forgiveness for others. In other words God does not forgive me unless I love my neighbour every bit as much as I love and fear for myself. Nobody escapes God's judgement. My prayer seeking mercy for myself is only heard if my fear for the other person is as deep as the fear I have for myself. It is as if we are the same person.

This is not the same as judging another person full stop = judgemental. Nobody in their right mind would do that. But one does have to make judgements about whom to follow, join up with or listen to.

I realised that to pray as Father Hewko begged is to take part in the prayed-for person's suffering which is the suffering caused by sin in both of us. I believe it is equally redemptive to the pray-er and prayed-for. Our Lord's Mercy is not selective.

Minute 44.17 (All of sermon is excellent)

See also : Pray for Priests to have Courage

* Where the Novus Ordo Mass was declared legitimate.
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