May 3 – Love of the neighbor
Among many other species of roses that embellish our gardens during this season is the rose garland. Although it is small, it encloses in its bud 150 leaves and opens up into clusters of more than 20 flowers together. This rose-bush is presented to us adorned with abundant clusters that surprises and robs the sight of the one who contemplates it. But it lacks odor and it cannot have it by itself; but if presented in a circle and arranged carefully until it gets filled, it becomes a magnificent and beautiful garland adorned with many roses.
The love towards the neighbor
The love with which we love ourselves and our neighbor originates in the love of God, depends on it and proceeds from it. The rose garland, not being able to subsist nor stand alone by itself, causes a circle of true, pure, holy, chaste love like God’s and proceeds from God toward the neighbor, and it extends from here within the same circle toward our fellowmen and to many things that are before our eyes and for our service and use.
We love in ourselves that which God loves; and what God loves in us is making us into his image. We love ourselves with the same love with which God loves us, and we are commanded to love our neighbors whatever we find lovable, with this same love.
Do you love God with the same love with which God loves Himself?
If your love is not pure, like love in its constituent, whatever you will love will be impure. You will not love yourself, and having deviated from the rule and norm of love, neither could you love with pure and holy love your neighbor nor the things at your disposal will be impure.
The love of neighbor in Mary
The world owes its salvation to the love of Mary. She saw us lost; she looked for a savior and found him. She offered him to us, sacrificed on the altar of the cross; and she wanted to be our co-redemptrix together with her Son in this sacrifice. Because of this love she deserved to be called Mother of all the living.
The rose garland to Mary
Have you put in order the love of yourself and the many things that move around you? Reflect upon it well. If you want order in your love for creatures, first put in order your love for God. If you love anything without directing it to God, without God, outside of God, and against the orders of God, that love is passion that will destroy all your roses. Search for the rose-bush and the clusters of rose garland, and if you don’t find them, do as you have done in other days: without wasting time go to meet the beautiful and amiable gardener and ask her to plant the rose-bush; and you cooperate, help her with holy resolutions and good end in view and say to her . . .
Lady, I oblige and commit myself and strive to love well,
that is, to love what the law commands me to love.
I want to love what God loves in me,
in my neighbors and the things that are for my use and service.
What God loves I love;
I abhor in myself, in my neighbor
and in all other creatures what God abhors.
Accept oh Lady this offering
and present it to your Son.
Fortify and enable my intentions and resolutions.