Intentions of the Holy Father for April

Ecology and Justice. That governments may foster the protection of creation and the just distribution of natural resources.
Hope for the Sick. That the Risen Lord may fill with hope the hearts of those who are being tested by pain and sickness.

Piety and Fraternity

A beautiful excerpt from Abba Father, by Bonaventure Perquin, in my continuing quest to get sued by publishers:

Although [the] knowledge and love of the Father is of its nature personal, it must never be thought of as excluding the knowledge and love of other persons, be they angels or men. For the adopted child knows and loves his Father not only as his own, but also as the Father of countless other children. The Spirit of adoption never allows us to forget the immensity of the all-embracing Fatherhood of God; he will not countenance anything like possessiveness. The Father's love is such that its immensity is perfectly compatible with its intimacy, for though he loves so many, he loves each one for himself as if he were the only child. In this the Incarnate Son is a perfect mirror of his Father, as in all else, because he loved all his disciples and yet his love was perfectly adapted to the needs and the aspirations of each one individually. Thus the inspirations that come to us from the Holy Spirit through the gift of piety give us a true conception of God's Fatherhood, and in this way he gradually widens our vision and our heart until they embrace the vast family of all the Father's adopted children. And in this same family we can include our Lady, while at the same time we love and honor her as Queen and Mother.

All these children who share the adoption are therefore brethren. What an inspiration, then, toward fraternal charity is the prompting of the gift of piety meant to be. How difficult it is to practice this vital commandment unless we really see our fellowmen as children of the same Father and have grasped something of the intensity of the Father's love not only for ourselves but also for them. Then we see clearly beyond any doubt how impossible it is to love that Father and at the same time to be indifferent toward or to hate any of his children. The commandment of charity is the inevitable outcome of the common adoption of countless children by one and the same Father.

"And everyone who loves him who begot, loves also the one begotten of him. In this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and do his commandments (1 Jn 5:1-2)."

The passage is beautiful.

Any devotion, even to the Holy Eucharist or to Blessed Virgin Mary, that is, any outward display of piety, that does not at least gradually expand our heart to encompass those kneeling next to us, has had only a partial effect on us. In the event that we find ourselves practicing some devotion and not living a congruent charity, we should suspect ourselves of superficial or defective love of God. Such a defect is natural enough. All the same, instead of being contentedly self-satisfied, we should add to our devotion a prayer to better love our neighbors. A failure in the love of our neighbors certainly diminishes the credibility of our love of God, as St. John wrote, "If any one says, 'I love God,' and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen," (1 Jn 4:20).

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