WHAT is the central thing, the quintessential core, of Christian behaviour? Love, some might say. But the word love is too general; and even if we particularise it as charity. or agape, it still describes a state of mind, an attitude, rather than an activity.
We may like to think that the Jewish and Christian religions are right in building behaviour on love. That is conscience at its highest, we say. But love's opposites, hatred and fear. seem as native to man as
love. What is so reasonable about loving? As President Truman used to say: "I'm from Missouri, you've got to show me."
When it comes down to the brass tacks of living together on this earth, the kind of loving that makes the difference is what we call forgiving. No revenge, no retaliation, no "punishing" as such. Vengeance is mine, the Lords says: meaning you'd better leave it to me, you don't begin to know what you do.
Hence Our Lord's neverending stress, in the