It is written that we must love our neighbor as ourselves.
So, the better we love ourselves the better we can love our neighbor. But…
Question: What is the right kind of self-love?
Answer: It is the type of self-love that Gods wants us to have. It involves praying for ourselves especially for the grace to live and die in the state of sanctifying grace.
Since each one of us, under God, is in charge of keeping our soul worthy of entering heaven (and we must keep it holy constantly since we do not know the exact time at which our earthly test will come to an end) we must regularly (several times a day) engage in prayer.
Our prayers not only turn our minds to the things of heaven and to God but they remind us of what we must do to grow in faith, hope, charity, purity, obedience, humility, patience and perseverance.
Of the prayers we recite, we must get into the habit to pray daily for a happy death and for ‘the grace of final perseverance.’
Let us pray:
Give me, O God, the graces that I need to do Thy will here on earth and to be happy with Thee for all of eternity.
I ask these things through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary in union with the merits of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Redeemer.
According to Father Leo J. Trese (author of ‘The Faith Explained’ published by Sinag-Talag Publishers, Inc. Manila, Philippines and by Fides/Claretian, Notre Dame, Indiana):
The right kind of self love – the urgent desire to live and die in the grace of God – also is the measure of our love for our neighbor: ‘Love thy neighbor as thyself.’ Consequently, prayers for the spiritual welfare of one’s neighbor take precedence over prayers for temporal favors for self… Who is my neighbor?… anyone in need whom I can help. In matters spiritual, that embraces the entire world – and the souls in Purgatory.
Dear Jesus, have mercy on the souls of the dying, on the souls in Purgatory and on my soul and the souls of all those for whom love and duty bid me pray. Amen.