Archive for August 31st, 2022

Loving Thy Neighbor


Written by George MacDonald (1824-1905), a Scottish author, poet, and Christian minister.

It is possible to love our neighbor as ourselves. Our Lord never spoke hyperbolically, although, indeed, that is the supposition on which many unconsciously interpret his words, in order to be able to persuade themselves that they believe them. We may see that it is possible before we attain to it; for our perceptions of truth are always in advance of our condition. True, no man can see it perfectly until he is it; but we must see it, that we may be it. A man who knows that he does not yet love his neighbor as himself may believe in such a condition, may even see that there is no other goal of human perfection, nothing else to which the universe is speeding, propelled by the Father’s will. Let him labor on, and not faint at the thought that God’s day is a thousand years; his millennium is likewise one day—yea, this day, for we have him, the Love, in us, working even now the far end…A man must not choose his neighbor; he must take the neighbor that God sends him. In him, whoever he be, lies, hidden or revealed, a beautiful brother. The neighbor is just the person who is next to you at the moment, the person with whom any business has brought you in contact.


This prayer is from the US Conference of Bishops, an assembly of bishops who exercise pastoral functions on behalf of the Christian faithful in the United States.

Embracing Father, You grace each of us with equal measure in your love. Let us learn to love our neighbors more deeply, so that we can create peaceful and just communities. Inspire us to use our creative energies to build the structures we need to overcome the obstacles of intolerance and indifference. May Jesus provide us the example needed and send the Spirit to warm our hearts for the journey. Amen.

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