Song du Jour

Song du Jour

Benedictine Thoughts, Teachings, and Prayers

“To See the Face of God”

April 15, 2013

Treat your friends and enemies the same way.


To love another person is to see the face of God.


In Joan Chittister’s book: For Everything A Season… “a time to embrace,” Joan explores each verse from Ecclesiastes shedding light on the purpose and value of human life. She awakens us to the fact that Scripture is full of opposites…Joseph and his brothers, Moses’ mother and Pharaoh’s daughter, Jesus and the Samaritan woman, the young woman Mary and the old woman Elizabeth. Joan points out that in every case something transforming occurs…some physical, something powerful happens: Joseph weeps at the sight of his jealous brothers, Pharaoh’s daughter lifts the child from the river and entrusts him to the arms of his Hebrew nursemaid, Jesus drinks water from the forbidden bucket, Mary and Elizabeth break into song at the thought of the power within them and its meaning for others. Joan states that, “Scripture is filled with one person recognizing, welcoming, embracing, and releasing the strength of the unfamiliar other.” Joan eloquently says that “ordinary people find strength in one another to do what is beyond their simple selves…they meet and embrace, they meet and their souls touch, they meet and fell strongly.” And when this exchange of embraced feelings happens, the world shifts a little and changes. It is awesome to think of our globe moving just because our hearts moved! As Mother Teresa says, “We cannot help the entire world but we can help one person at a time.” One person at a time is quality and not quantity. To be truly present to another person is sacred and holy. In Joan Borysenko’s book: A Woman’s Life Cycle,

Joan quotes Mother Teresa in saying, “I do not serve you because you are needy; I serve you because you are holy.” It is a new paradigm to think this way. Mother Teresa truly takes my breath away when she states the obvious but in such a simplistic way.


Recently I read a sentence that puts all of this into a nutshell for all of us:


Our friend and enemy are to be treated the same way.

There is no difference…everyone is to be treated equally.


In Luke, we are given the directions of how we are to treat everyone with no exception.


Luke 6:27-36

[27] "But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, [28] bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. [29] If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. [30] Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. [31] Do to others as you would have them do to you.

[32] "If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' love those who love them. [33] And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' do that. [34] And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' lend to 'sinners,' expecting to be repaid in full. [35] But love your enemies, be good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. [36] Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.



In the Hasidic Tale: “How to Determine the Hour of Dawn,” the Rabbi and students have a Q & A on how we will see the dawn:

An old Hasidic tale

The rabbi asked his students: "How can we determine the hour of dawn, when the night ends and the day begins?

One of the rabbi's students suggested: "When from a distance you can distinguish between a dog and a sheep?"

 "No," was the answer of the rabbi.

 "Is it when one can distinguish between a fig tree and a grapevine?" asked a second student.

 "No," the rabbi said.

 "Please tell us the answer then," said the students.

 "It is, then," said the wise teacher, "when you can look into the face of another human being and see the face of God. Until then, it is night, and darkness is still with us." Source: Finding My Way Home (Henri J.M. Nouwen)


 It seems appropriate to end this blog with the last line from Victor Hugo’s book/play/musical:

“To love another person is to see the face of God.”


My Song du jour is:  “Christians Let Us Love One Another”


Christians, let us love one another,

As we share the true living bread.

Jesus is our God and our brother;

With his flesh and blood we are fed.


Everyone who loves is born of God.

Jesus is our life.

God is love.



“That in all things God may be glorified”

Sr. Jo-El McLaughlin, OSB


Art: taken from

Hymn text – Sr. Claudia Foltz, SNJM and Armand Nigro, SJ

PICARDY Melody from Chansons populaires des Provinces de France, 1860

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