Since we are called to unity, our life in communion has a common goal. That is why this apostolic instruction. It presupposes the love, which bears each others burdens and without which we don’t have any humbleness, gentleness nor patience. Brotherly love views the other as a part of the integral whole. It bears the brother and sister in the very heart and treats them accordingly in daily life. This love is a supernatural, divine power, which motivates, drives and strengthens us to deal with our siblings in a brotherly way.
The first virtue of love is humility. People like to blow their own trumpet, but love shows us another way – not only to give a better example, but rather to lead our brother to repentance and conversion too. What would be if the exaltation of one, leads to the exaltation of the other – one rises and the other follows suit – just to have the clash of the prideful titans enacted live. The wholesome antidote is the humility of those, who are watchful for the salvation and healing of the other too – even more than for their own.
Gentleness is a form of humility. If you are aware of your lowliness, but are still grumpy, short tempered and hard on others, without mercy and compassion – then that humbleness is not worth much and it looses all its blessings.
Patience is necessary too. How else would humility and gentleness get to achieve anything? What would patience be without perseverance and endurance? A child without any strength to grow up. Every virtue must be continually exercised and practiced. The master in this art is Jesus, who continuously seeks and finds the lost.
Oh most faithful God! We pray, help us to humble ourselves under your mighty hand so that you might lift us up at your good time and pleasure. Let your Church recognize your way on earth as you deal with the many nations. Grant that we cast all our anxieties onto you as you care for us, who desire your faithfulness. Grant us watchful hearts, a sober being, earnest love, patience and humility and fulfill you work in us in good and bad times so that we might see you in righteousness and be satisfied at your sight. Amen. (Hermann Bezzel)
Ah, Jesus Christ, my Lord, So meek in deed and word, Thou diedst once to save us, Because Thou fain wouldst have us After earth’s life of sadness Heirs of Thy heavenly gladness.
So be it, then I say, With all my heart each day; Guide us while here we wander, Till safely landed yonder, We too, dear Lord, adore Thee, And sing for joy before Thee. (Tr Catherine Winkworth, 1827-1878)
This is a rather free translation of Wilhelm Löhe’s devotion for Monday after the seventeenth Sunday after the high holiday and festival of the Holy Trinity. It is found on Pg. 335 in Lob sei Dir ewig, o Jesu! (Eternal Praise to you o Jesus!) edited by A. Schuster and published in the Freimund Verlag, Neuendettelsau 1949.