Sunday, November 15, 2015

Catholic Hermit: The Royal Law

Sometimes doesn't it seem as if His Real Presence truly knows exactly what we need?  Of course He does--but sometimes it seems so very real, so actual, so lived!

A long-time friend (Protestant) celebrated a birthday the other day.  We keep in touch with a birthday note and a Christmas letter.  Otherwise, the friendship rolls along, year after year, without knowing details of our lives other than the twice-yearly, usually brief, correspondence.  

Increasingly, it seems this nothing consecrated Catholic hermit is closer than ever to whoever comes to mind.  Thus, it seems as if there has been more personal contact than what is the temporal reality.  So I decided to call this friend on her birthday and ask for her email address; I wanted to do a Scriptural Prayer-Gift in honor of her life.  What book of the Bible would she like?


So, each day I'm reading a chapter of James and reflecting upon the content of the verses.  I pray for insights from the Holy Spirit so as to email the friend, each day, in what ways the Word of God through James represents her life.

Today I read the second chapter of James in honor of this marvelous Christian friend.  Lo and behold, there it is again:  God's law of which St. Paul writes in Romans is the "fulfillment of the law" and above all other laws:  God's law of love.  Love God.  Love others.

Here it is, written by the Apostle James.  He calls God's law "the royal law."

"If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, 'Love your neighbor as yourself,' you are doing right."

Then a few verses later in chapter two, he writes further regarding being judged by this law and describes it as the law that gives freedom.  In what way? With mercy--and James explains that  freedom occurs when mercy triumphs over judgment.

"Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful.  Mercy triumphs over judgment!"

There is much more to the second chapter of James.  The Apostle demonstrates, also, that faith is revealed through what one enacts that demonstrates a lived faith.  If we say we have faith but do not live God's royal law, the law of love of others, then faith is not substantiated.  And consider the truth that mercy always wins, over judgment.  Be merciful to others.  Triumph in mercy.

When my spiritual father called this afternoon--and such a loving surprise--we discussed the seemingly recent, repetitive lessons from Scripture regarding the law and which law is supreme (and simply so) over all other laws:  God's law of love, the "royal law."

We can't go wrong if we adopt the royal law and if we live it.  Yes, if we truly love our neighbor as ourselves, we will be "doing right".

God bless His Real Presence in us!  Little children, let us love one another!  Let us embrace fully God's royal law and do right!

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