• Sarah Raad


“Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfil them.” (Matthew 5:17).

Saint Bernard of Clairvaux (Fra Filippo Lippi)

There is an old cliché, or a saying, and it says, “The devil is in the detail.”

What it really means is that one should be careful about paying attention to the details when they are trying to get a job done because if they do not then they are likely to make an error that could be costly to them.

And I have been thinking about that cliché while I have been reflecting on the commandments provided by Christ in the New Testament, which is… ““A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35).

And I have been thinking about that AGAPE – or that Commandment of LOVE – because it is a very broad instruction. There is really no detail in it. In fact, where that old cliché would say that “the devil is in the detail”, it seems to me – from this commandment – that Christ would say “the LOVE is in the detail”…

And I have been reflecting on that too. You see, Christ gave this commandment not in opposition to the Old Testament, but in building upon it. And I know this because He said, “Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfil them. For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:17-19).

You see, Christ – God Himself – does not take a legalistic approach to His commandments. He does not look at the details. Rather, Christ looks at the big picture – He looks at the HEART of the matter.

He does not simply look at the details of what I do – attending Holy Mass and praying the Blessed Rosary. Instead, He looks at those things and adds to them, considering my attitude – my lived experience of faith! It does not matter if I attend Mass daily and pray my rosary well and then go out and sin. What matters is that I consistently live the broader picture that Christ commanded me to live. What matters is that I live Christ’s commandment of LOVE.

You see, it was this legalistic approach of the Pharisees that Christ rejected, calling them hypocrites because it is contrary to the SPIRIT of God. And I have been reflecting on that as I consider the details in my own life. For in those details I do not wish for my Beloved to find the devil, I wish for Him only to find the LOVE. And I pray for the Grace to be able to show Him that Love… I pray for the Grace…

For with prayer, I stand on Holy Ground where everything is clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.

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