Feast of St. James – July 25

Even with their good teacher, the companions would keep their all too human ideas until the last possible day. They thought that it was in establishing a new political regime, through revolution and a coup d’etat if necessary, that God’s rights would finally be recognized. Jesus with his incredible powers seemed able to overthrow any army and wipe out all the wrongdoers on earth. He was holding off for now, but he undoubtedly had a secret plan. The Day would come and he would go into action; they, his faithful companions, would occupy the top posts in his new regime.

This is what they talked about, a couple of paces behind Jesus’ back, as they walked the roads of Palestine. Since they dared not themselves express their secret ambitions to Jesus, the two hotheads among them, James and John, one day asked their mother to speak for them. She sometimes went along with the caravan of Jesus’ intimates and was of great service to the small wandering community. So there she found herself, prostrate before Jesus’ feet with a look of supplication. Her two sons stood nearby. They wanted Jesus to grant their request even before he knew what they were asking: “Master, promise us that you’ll grant what our mother asks.”

But Jesus wasn’t happy with this at all: “Look, what do you want?” So the mother explained her request: “Promise me that my sons here will have the highest places at your side on the day of your triumph” (she meant to refer to the new regime she thought he was going to establish).

“You really don’t have any idea what you’re asking for,” Jesus responded to James and John. “Are you first willing to drink the bitter cup of suffering I must drink? To go all the way with me in my misery?”

“Sure we’re ready for anything.”

“That’s true, one day you will know my suffering,” Jesus replied as he thought of their future. “But as for what you ask, that is my Father’s business.”

James and John were ambitious and naive. They hoped for human success in the kingdom of God. It was a big mistake; but they easily realized this and tried to make amends, for they passionately loved Christ.

Written by Father Menard in his book At All Times.

Prayer to Love our Neighbor

Oh God, send in us your spirit of love, so that it prepares our hearts to love our brothers. In order to live the commandments of your Son, Jesus, in order to carry the distinctive mark and the rallying sign of his true disciples, we want to love one another, not with a sensitive but with a voluntary love, drawn in faith, consolidated by hope and proven by acts.

We praise and thank our Lord for having deigned to live among rough and uncouth men, accepting the hateful intrigues of the Pharisees and the oppressors; always with unchanging kindness, submitting Himself to everything, healing bodies and souls and, finally, giving His life, the supreme proof of His love.

Fully confident and trusting in the powerful intercession of the Virgin Mary, our Mother, and of the Saints, our brothers, we come to Jesus in order to learn the meaning of charity, to discover in His love for us the reasons and the model for the love toward our brothers; and to receive assistance, without which our feeble will can do nothing. In loving all men as if they were the living tabernacle of the Holy Trinity, may we accomplish the Law and thereby merit to love You and to be eternally loved by You, Oh God of Love!

Litany of Love for our Neighbor

Litany of Love For Our Neighbor

“Nothing brings God closer than our neighbour”

Because – “He who loves God also loves his brother:

I love God concealed in my neighbour
(to be repeated after each invocation)

Because the love for our neighbour is the thermometer of our love for God.

Because everything we do for the lowliest of beings, is done as to Jesus Himself.

In order that it be good and agreeable to live together as brothers.

“Better one ounce of charity than a hundred chariots of reasoning” (S. R. Bellarmin).

To keep me from untruth, in pretending to love an invisible God and not loving
my neighbour whom I see.

Like the first Christians, who had only one heart and one soul.

Like the Saints, ever ready to help their brothers.

Like the Virgin, who loves each one of us in a specific way.

And, especially like Jesus, who loved us to the most abominable of deaths.

Like Jesus, who called Judas his friend – when he had just betrayed Him.

In never loving for a natural motive.

In rejoicing for the good that comes to my neighbour as if it happened to myself.

In not listening to the tales of weaknesses ascribed to my brothers.

In always assuming that others have good intentions toward me.

In not concerning myself of the sayings, the doings and the lives of others.

In congratulating my brother for the good that God has done for him.

In refraining from saying, in the absence of a brother, things I would not say in his presence.

In speaking of others in the manner I would like them to speak of me.

In keeping myself from repeating to another person, the bad someone has spoken about him.

By avoiding mockery, which displeases and hurts.

By avoiding vain discussions.

By not colonising or speaking bad of others.

By weeping with those who weep.

By rejoicing with those who are joyful.

In setting a good example in the accomplishment of my duties.

In never laughing over the physical, intellectual or moral defects of my brothers.

In extinguishing the fires of anger with kindness.

In being victorious over the bad through doing good.

In reconciliating the greatest number of enemies.

In taking care of the sick, the lonely and the poor.

Even if only indifference and ingratitude is shown toward me.

Whether my fellow-being be a saint or a sinner.

Whether he be sever or friendly-disposed.

Whether he be for or against me.

In frequently asking to love my brother as Jesus loved him.

In praying for the sinners and the souls of purgatory.

In behaving toward each other as toward our Lord.

In unison with the love with which Jesus and Mary love.

In unison with the love with which the Saints in Heaven and on earth love each other.

In unison with the love with which the Three Persons of the Holy Trinity love each other

V) Oh Jesus, Who has loved us onto the folly of the cross,

 A) Fill our hearts with love for each and every one of our brother.

Closing Prayer

 Oh God, send in us your spirit of love, so that it prepares our hearts to love our brothers. In order to live the commandments of your Son, Jesus, in order to carry the distinctive mark and the rallying sign of his true disciples, we want to love one another, not with a sensitive but with a voluntary love, drawn in faith, consolidated by hope and proven by acts.

We praise and thank our Lord for having deigned to live among rough and uncouth men, accepting the hateful intrigues of the Pharisees and the oppressors; always with unchanging kindness, submitting Himself to everything, healing bodies and souls and, finally, giving His life, the supreme proof of His love.

Fully confident and trusting in the powerful intercession of the Virgin Mary, our Mother, and of the Saints, our brothers, we come to Jesus in order to learn the meaning of charity, to discover in His love for us the reasons and the model for the love toward our brothers; and to receive assistance, without which our feeble will can do nothing. In loving all men as if they were the living tabernacle of the Holy Trinity, may we accomplish the Law and thereby merit to love You and to be eternally loved by You, Oh God of Love!