“The proof of love is in the works. Where love exists, it works great things. But when it ceases to act, it ceases to exist.” ~ St. Gregory the Great
“The proof is in the pudding.” We have most likely heard that saying for years. The proof is in the pudding. Actually, that saying is a corruption of the original saying, “the proof of the pudding is in the eating.” It meant that one could not know whether the pudding was good or not unless one ate it. Then, the saying was generalized to mean, one cannot know anything unless one tries it out. “Pudding”, then, could be anything. But, the proof was always in the pudding.
In terms of being Christian, our pudding would be love. The prove of our Christianity is in our loving. That is what Pope Gregory the Great wanted his people to know. We cannot be Christian if we do not love. The proof of love is in the loving. No one will know that we love unless we love. When we fail to love, we fail to be Christian. Christianity and love are one and the same.
I know. Love is not always easy. As a matter of fact, love can be incredibly difficult, especially when the act of loving is supposed to be directed to someone we do not like or, for that matter, someone we hate.
The best way to improve any situation is to change it. If we dislike someone, the best thing for all involved would be to like them. If we hate someone, the best think would be to love them. Changing so radically makes both of us new people and gives both of us a second chance at doing what God wants us to do: love each other.
We begin to dislike people by focusing upon what is different in them. The best way to like them is by focusing on what is the same in them. There is no one who is so different from us that we cannot find something that is similar, something that we hold in common, something that matters to each of us.
Look for the similarity. If you absolutely cannot find it, let me give you a hint as to the one thing, at least, that the two of you share in common: Jesus dwells in you and in the person you might dislike. Find Jesus in the other person and you might find that you have worlds in common.
FAITH ACTION: Let everything you do today include intentional acts of love, especially toward anyone you may typically avoid.