Beginning at home
The only way to really love our neighbor is to be reconciled with ourselves, to accept and love ourselves. Let us not forget that the Biblical ideal is summed up in these words: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” The love we have for ourselves, therefore, is the measure of love and, chronologically, we come first, before our neighbor. To be concerned for others as much as we are for ourselves is already a lofty ideal. But we must begin with ourselves.
Speaking concretely, to be happy means to suffer less. Little by little, as the springs of suffering begin to dry up, the heart is filled with joy and freedom. To feel oneself alive is already stimulating, but suffering manages to block that exhilaration.
Inasmuch as one succeeds in uprooting pain and sorrow, the thermometer of excitement and vital joy rises. To live, in itself, is already to be happy.
If we succeed in making people live, the expanding force of this vital joy will turn each person toward his fellow men with renewed enthusiasm and concrete commitments.
Extracted from the book “From Suffering to Peace” by Father Ignacio Larrañaga