Day 3: Love of Neighbor

 
Love of Neighbor
 
Hymn 
 
O God, who made man from the slime 
According to Your form sublime, 
And made Christ share our lowliness 
To let us share His holiness:
 
Be in each brother’s hand a light 
To show the path through this dark night, 
Be in us each the burning fire 
That kindles love and kills desire.
 
Through Jesus Christ let this be done,
Who lives and reigns, our Lord, Your son,
Whom with the Spirit we adore 
One God with You forevermore.
 
Antiphon
 
P. Everyone shall help his neighbor and shall say to his brother: / Be of good courage.
 
(Psalm 132)
 
All: Behold, how good it is, and how pleasant, where brethren dwell as one!
 
It is as when the precious ointment upon the head runs down over the beard, the beard of Aaron, / till it runs down upon the collar of his robe.
 
It is a dew like that of Hermon, / which comes down upon the mountains of Zion;
 
For there the Lord has pronounced his blessing, / life forever.
 
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, / and to the Holy Spirit.
 
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be / world without end. Amen.
 
Antiphon
 
All: Everyone shall help his neighbor and shall say to his brother: / Be of good courage.
 
P. (Chapter–Romans 12:9-12) Let love be without pretense. Hate what is evil, hold to what is good. Love one another with fraternal charity, anticipating one another with honor. Be not slothful in zeal; be fervent in spirit, serving the Lord, rejoicing in hope, Be patient in tribulation, persevering in prayer.
 
R. Thanks be to God.
V. You are citizens with the saints.
R. And members of God’s household.
V. The Lord be with you.
R. And with your spirit.
 
Let us pray.
 
P. O God, You make all things work together unto good for those who love You. Give to our hearts an abiding love for You, so that the desires we conceive by Your inspiration may ever remain unchanged in spite of every temptation, through Christ Our Lord.
 
R. Amen.
V. St. Isidore.
R. Pray for us.
 
Prayer in Honor of Saint Isidore
 
All: O God, who taught Adam the simple art of tilling the soil, / and who through Jesus Christ, the true vine, / revealed yourself the husbandman of our souls, / deign, we pray, through the merits of blessed Isidore, / to instill into our hearts a horror of sin and a love of prayer, / so that, working the soil in the sweat of our brow, / we may enjoy eternal happiness in heaven, through the same Christ our Lord. 
 
R. Amen.
V. The Lord be with you.
R. And with your spirit.
V. Let us bless the Lord. 
R. Thanks be to God.
V. May the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace. R. Amen.
 
REFLECTION
 
To express the unity of His Mystical Body, Christ chose the striking farm symbol of the vine and the branches. And immediately thereafter, He reminded us of the hard farm reality that the barren plant must be destroyed: If anyone does not abide in me, he shall be cast outside as the branch and wither; and they shall gather them up and cast them into the fire, and they shall burn.” (John 15:6) The test that our Lord applied to distinguish the good grain from the bad is love of neighbor: “This is my commandment that you love one another, as I have loved you.” (John 15:12)
 
Each profession has its own peculiar way of helping its members to manifest love for neighbor, and it is the honorable lot of the farmer to provide the basic food and fiber and shelter for man’s daily needs. From the example of St. Isidore we learn that our daily life is not to be a selfish quest for profit, but an opportunity to serve. It makes us realize that we need the help of others to continue this way of life.
 
Rural people can well apply to themselves these words of Pope Pius XI: “All the institutions for the establishment of peace and the promotion of mutual help among men, however perfect these may seem, have the principal foundation of their stability in the mutual bond of minds and hearts whereby the members are united one with another. If this bond is lacking, the best of regulations are useless. And so, then only will true cooperation be possible for a single common good, when the various parts of society deeply feel themselves members of one great family and children of the same heavenly Father; we are one body in Christ, ‘but severally members one of another,’ so that ‘if one member suffers anything, all the members suffer with it.'”
 
Recite the Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be (etc.), three times, followed by a prayer of your choice for special needs.