October 2012

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

We have witnessed in recent days the horrors that can come on account of religion. We must never be a part of that.

The commandment to love is always in effect for followers of Christ. One of the Great Desert Fathers once remarked that the true sign pf the disciple is how much we love our enemies.

Actually, the power of love can convert enemies into friends, but not always. St. Paul writes that "insofar as is possible be at peace with all men." Sometimes it is possible and sometimes it is not, but still the commandment to love remains. Those occasions when enemies tum into friends may be rare, but they are worth all the effort.

One very important rule of the spiritual life is to do all the good we can, but let go of the need to see results. The results are not in our control, we leave that to God. So we love anyway, even when our efforts are not received.

The rule of mindfulness is that once we have completed our work of love we move on immediately to the next work of love, not returning in our minds to what has already passed. Each moment brings its own reward and the next moment and the next. ..

If we are called upon to give up our lives in the work of love, then we will be martyrs of love. The Lord tells us there is a blessing for a righteous martyrdom, but we must never give up our lives in the service of hatred and intolerance. There is no blessing for that.

Love and blessings.

Fr. Antony