How easy mutual love ought to be among one's own. At least, so it seems.
Alas, daily experience and history inform us differently. Human beings have a heart, but they do not know how to use it; never was a counsel more often preached in the desert than that of Christ: Love one another!
Does not history tell us that from one thousand, four hundred and ninety-five years before Jesus Christ up until one thousand, nine hundred and thirty-six after Christ, that is to say, for a period of about three thousand, five hundred years, there were three thousand, one hundred and ninety-four years during which human beings carried on war, and only two hundred and thirty-seven years during which they consented to live in peace. These figures do not take into account, either, the local skirmishes among more or less savage tribes; it is merely a record of wars deserving of the name and of countries representing real nations.
Thus for one year of peace, thirteen and a half years of war! And note well that within the above-mentioned time, more than eight thousand, two hundred treaties of peace had been signed, each of them being arranged to assure an indefinite peace.
Is not our poor humanity rather miserable! Can any better indication of its powerlessness to love be given?
Nevertheless...Could the words of Christ ever be inefficacious? Must one give up hope forever for the common sense and loving hearts of our earth's inhabitants?
How necessary it is for us to pray that fraternal love be something more than a dream, untrue, perpetually shattered. And since religious communities are never entirely exempt from, not exactly a spirit of war, but at least a certain lack of the spirit of peace, I will always put forth every effort to further, as far as I can, the reign of fraternal charity and kindly tolerance in the house. If each one puts her heart into this, then all will love one another, as they ought, supernaturally, profoundly, perseveringly.
Adapted from Meditations for Religious
by Father Raoul Plus, S.J. (© 1939, Frederick Pustet Co.)