The Letter of the Law of Love — Integrated Catholic Life™

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The Letter of the Law of Love

“The heart is where the battle lines must be drawn in our crusade against sin.”

Jesus Christ reveals the full story of what God expects from His children. Our Lord is not dispensing with the requirements of the Old Law; He is fulfilling and perfecting them.

“Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfil them. For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”–Matthew 5:17-19

With the arrival of the Kingdom, we can no longer merely comply with the rules and regulations that facilitate human interaction. The birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ means every human being is expected to live by the Law of Love. This Law is a much higher standard than simply following the rules. It requires patience, sacrifice, humility, and the gift of grace. 

In this season of Lent, it is good to remind ourselves that it is not only our actions that will be judged, but more importantly the disposition of our hearts. Whatever is truly in our hearts is often expressed in our speech, and this ultimately determines our actions, be they good or evil. 

“Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man, but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.”–Matthew 15:11

The seeds of our sins take root in the heart through our memories, our intellect and our will, especially when influenced by the vices of pride, greed, wrath, envy, lust, gluttony and sloth. These are the dispositions of the heart Jesus is trying to get us to recognize and eliminate. These tendencies embedded in the heart lead us to act in ways we may not even understand. St. Paul knew this experience.

“I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.”–Romans 7:15

Jesus challenges us to identify and eliminate the source of our bad actions. One example is anger, which is a disposition of the heart. Anger can lead to a form of homicide. This happens when we ruin someone’s reputation by speaking ill of them. This is a way of destroying another person.


The Letter of the Law of Love — Integrated Catholic Life™

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