ST ALOYSIUS GONZAGA, R. (Memorial) White
He was an Italian and a son of a compulsive gambler. He was trained from age four as a soldier and courtier. Aloysius suffered from kidney disease which he considered a blessing as it left him bed-ridden with time for prayer. He received First Holy Communion from Charles Borromeo and at 18 became a Jesuit novice. Aloysius tended plague victims in Rome in the outbreak of 1591. He died in 1591 at Rome of plague and fever.
First Reading: 2Kgs 19:9b-11.14-21.31-35a.36; Psalm: 48. R. v. 9cd; Gospel: Mt 7:6.12-14
THE BEST RULE TO A FULFILLED LIFE
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
The Golden Rule is as old as the human race. It is a rule that resides at the centre of the human conscience. For ordinarily, we should feel bad to see others suffer what we don’t wish ourselves. So Jesus was only resonating this God-given rule to reawaken our consciousness to it.
Self-love is beautiful and necessary because it is a sign of appreciation for the gift we have received from God. However, narcissistic tendency is bad. This is when we think too highly of ourselves seeking the admiration of people while disregarding others as inferior without empathy or love. ‘Narcissism’ was a word coined from Greek mythology about a man Narcissus who was so beautiful and loved himself excessively while he treated others with contempt. He fell into a pool and got drowned while admiring the reflection of himself. This kind of love is hostile to the ‘Golden Rule’ because it is selfish and exclusive.
Let’s take our time to reflect on what we want people to do for us. Now, are we also conscious that these same people have similar wishes and desires? As much as we want to be loved, cared and provided for, the people around us want these things too. We should be conscious of this. Jesus simply wants us to be mindful of the danger of excessive love for the self. That kind of love that puts us first in everything. Life is not all about us. If it was so, God would not bother creating that neighbour who needs our love and care too. The saint we celebrate today, Aloysius Gonzaga, was a lad who thought of others first before himself. At the age of eighteen he signed away his legal claim to his family’s land and title to his brother and became a Jesuit novice. He was neither too attached nor selfish. When we begin to see ourselves in the faces of those we relate with, perhaps we can begin to think differently about our actions towards them.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord Jesus, may we grow in love for you and for one another. Amen.