Daily Reflection—Love or Hate

“Whoever says he is in the light, yet hates his brother, is still in the darkness. Whoever loves his brother remains in the light, and there is nothing in him to cause a fall. Whoever hates his brother is in darkness; he walks in darkness and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes.” (1 John 2:9-11).

We have all seen people claim to love Jesus whose hearts appear to harbor extreme dislike or even hatred for another. Of course we should pray for them. But we should also ask a question in self-examination: “Do I harbor hate in my heart for another? Do I give appearances of such hatred to those around me?”

One of the reasons the great doctors of the Church whose specialty is the spiritual life exhort us to the practice of humility is so that we will be open to how God sees us and how others see us. Think of the example of the pharisee who looked down upon sinners, never imagining himself to be among them. Sin blinds us and darkens our judgment.

So a good measure of the spiritual life includes an honest look at my heart—do I love those God places in my path? Am I patient with them, kind towards them? Am I respectful and civil towards them, caring and supportive?

If you have been struggling with a relationship of any kind, look deeply and honestly, taking a good measure of yourself before the Lord.

Christ is risen!

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About the Author

Deacon Mike Bickerstaff Editor-In-Chief, ICL

Deacon Michael Bickerstaff is the Editor in chief and co-founder of the The Integrated Catholic Life.™ A Catholic Deacon of the Roman Rite for the Archdiocese of Atlanta, Deacon Bickerstaff is assigned to St. Peter Chanel Catholic Church where he is the Director of Adult Education and Evangelization.

He is also the Founder and President of Virtue@Work, where he provides Executive and Personal Coaching, Mentoring and Organizational Consulting. Deacon Mike has 30+ years management consulting experience in senior executive leadership positions providing organizational planning and implementation services with a focus on human resource strategy and tax qualified retirement plan design, administration and compliance.

He is a co-founder of the successful annual Atlanta Catholic Business Conference; the Chaplain of the Atlanta Chapter of the Woodstock Theological Center’s Business Conference; and Chaplain of the St. Peter Chanel Faith at Work Business Association and co-founder and Chaplain of the Marriages Are Covenants Ministry, both of which serve as models for similar parish-based ministries.

He and his wife have two married children and three grandchildren.

NB: The views I express on this site are my own. I am not an official spokesman for either my parish or diocese.

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