Rancor, hostility, bitterness, anger, and animosity can be found everywhere. Hatred is playing out on the world stage in Ukraine and is on display in the United States as a result of the recent Supreme Court leak. Sadly, high levels of acrimony can even be found within our churches. What can you and I do about this? As Christians, we can and should make a difference. Find out how, please read more.
This old world of ours seems to be in a mess. Could it possibly be that by memorizing a phrase from a very old Gregorian Chant and then putting those words to work in our life, you and I, and all other Christians, could make this a much better place to live? The phrase is simple and profound but putting it into action requires dedication, thoughtfulness, and prayer.
Every person should make these words the guiding direction for their life. “Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est.” The origin of this chant is unknown; however, its origin is thought to date back to somewhere between the years 300 and 1100 AD. The words, translated into English mean, “Where charity and love are, God is there.”
We often hear this statement, “They are trying to take God out of everything today.” There is truth in that statement, Christianity is clearly under attack. Many secularists want any reference to God or Jesus removed from everything. You and I know that God is love, but sadly, when we look around us, love and charity seem to be in short supply. If we want to make God present in the world, we can do so by making charity and love present in all of our actions.
Jesus gave us two great commandments. He taught us to love God with our heart, soul, mind and strength and He said, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” He told us there was no commandment greater than these.
As to charity, the Bible makes it clear that God’s love is made manifest when we unselfishly show charity towards our fellow man. Here are a few Bible verses that emphasize the importance of charity.
“Those who shut their ears to the cry of the poor will themselves call out and not be answered.”
“If someone who has worldly means sees a brother in need and refuses him compassion, how can the love of God remain in him?”
“And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’”
“Consider this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.”
As to love, the Bible could not be more explicit. 1 John 4:7-8 states the following, “Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God. Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love. We also find the following verses:
“If anyone says, “I love God,” but hates his brother, he is a liar; for whoever does not love a brother whom he has seen cannot love God* whom he has not seen. This is the commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.”
“If I speak in human and angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal.”
So, just for a minute, imagine what the world could be like if we made Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est our life’s motto. For the Bible assures us that where charity and love prevail, God is ever found. We must beware of division. Division is Satan’s weapon of mass destruction. We must control our impulse to bring anger into any conversation just because we have a difference of opinion. We must do as Jesus told us to do, we must love our enemies. We must always keep Christ in our words and actions.
Chanting is an ancient method of memorization. I invite you to click on the video below. As you listen to the words, let them sink into your heart and soul. Even better, sing along with the chant. Together, let’s bring charity and love back into our every encounter, and thereby bring Christ’s love into the world.
Heavenly Father, where there is division and hate in the world help me to bring love and charity. Give me the courage to make your Son, Jesus the Christ, present in the world not merely by my words but also in my actions. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
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