These days as we celebrate Valentine’s day we would like to reproduce a beautiful reflection on love that our Founder Joseph De Piro wrote in our MSSP General Rule. There Joseph De Piro, provides a short but poignant reflection on Paul’s Canticle of Love (1 Corinthians 13), in an attempt that the reader appropriate more its potent message. We would like to share it with you with the hope that you be inspired in living and sharing the blessing of loving and being loved.
Everyone should be convinced of the need for mutual love for each other.
In so far as the members of our Society are united, so much more is the pastoral work of the Society for the glory of God and the salvation of men.
This connection and unity can be possible and can be achieved if each one accepts and endures the weakness and the defects of the others and by carrying the weight of the other exactly as St. Paul tells us. “Lift up one another’s burdens” (Gal 6: 2), without having one’s own self-interest in the first place but the common good as encouraged by our Apostle.
“Love is patient” because in a calm spirit it accepts the evil that one receives.
“Love is kind” because it pays for evil.
“Love is not envious” because it is not envious of the good of others.
“Love does not boast ” because it does not grow with material wealth.
“Love is not proud” it is not malicious, ambitious, or evil because God is everything to it and enjoys everything in Him.
“Love is not self-seeking” because it does not consider her personal possessions because God is everything to her.
“It is not easily angered” because she does not pay back for it and doesn’t brood over the damage done to her.
“It keeps no record of wrongs” and always seeks and rejoices with the good of others.
Everyone should therefore be careful and cautious about how they talk about themselves and others. One should never underestimate the esteem of his brothers and sisters, but should always consider others to be better than himself and always be careful to give each one the esteem he deserves.
No one should order around anyone except those who have the authority to do so.
Without going beyond one’s limitations, each should look out for each other to fulfil the desires of the others and be attentive and prompt to help and prepare those who ask for help and even those who do not ask for it when he is in the knowledge that what he is going to do will be welcomed by his brothers.
When the Missionaries need to correct one another, they must be certain that they have the right intention and do so with great love and gentleness.
They will always be quick to forgive when, due to human weakness, they hurt each other or are hurt by others. One should be honoured to be the first to apologise leading to true reconciliation, even if he is not guilty and was innocently wronged through no fault of his own.
This deed should never be left to the next day, but on the word of St. Paul our Father, “Let not the sun go down upon your wrath” (Eph 4:21), no one should go to sleep before he does.
Living in this manner, the missionary will have the courage to say the words of the Apostle: “For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved. ” (1 Cor 10:33)