Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Practicing Christian Love in the Same Way as Christ

Practicing Christian love in the same way as Christ means that we are good to someone who needs our kindness, even if we do not like him. It means committing ourselves to the way of Jesus Christ and thus bringing about something like a Copernican revolution in our own lives. For in a certain sense, we are all still living before Copernicus, so to speak. Not only in that we think, to all appearances, that the sun rises and sets and goes around the earth, but in a far more profound sense. For we all carry within us that inborn illusion by virtue of which each of us takes his own self to be the center of things, around which the world and everyone else have to turn. We all necessarily find ourselves, time and again, construing and seeing other things and people solely in relation to our own selves, regarding them as satellites, as it were, revolving around the hub of our own self. Becoming a Christian, according to what we have just said, is something quite simple and yet completely revolutionary. It is just this: achieving the Copernican revolution and no longer seeing ourselves as the center of the universe, around which everyone else must turn, because instead of that we have begun to accept quite seriously that we are one of many among God’s creatures, all of which turn around God as their center.

- Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, What it Means to be a Christian

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