We learn that the fruit of the gospel will not grow in us unless we exercise love and benevolence among one another and exert ourselves in doing good.  The gospel may be purely preached among us at the present time, but when we consider how little progress we have made in brotherly love, we ought to be ashamed of our indolence.  God daily proclaims that Christ is our peace with God.  He graciously makes Christ propitious to us so that we may live in harmony with others.  We indeed wish to be regarded as children of God and to enjoy the reconciliation obtained for us by the blood of Christ.  But in the meantime, we tear one another apart and sharpen our teeth against each other.  Our dispositions are cruel.

67493If we truly desire to be the disciples of Christ, we must pay attention to the divine truth that each of us must strive to do good to his neighbor.  This cannot be done without opposing our flesh, for we have a strong inclination to love self and to seek our own advantage.  We must therefore put off these inordinate and sinful affections so that brotherly kindness may succeed in their place.