Tuesday, May 7, 2013

How to practice charity while disagreeing

There is one decisive test for charity: to love the very person who goes contrary to us. -- St. Gregory the Great, Homily on the Gospels 2

Don't judge without having heard both sides. Even persons who think themselves virtuous very easily forget this elementary rule of prudence. -- St. Josemaria, The Way 454

To avoid rash judgment, everyone should be careful to interpret insofar as possible his neighbor's thoughts, words, and deeds in a favorable way:

Every good Christian ought to be more ready to give a favorable interpretation to another's statement than to condemn it. But if he cannot do so, let him ask how the other understands it. And if the latter understands it badly, let the former correct him with love. If that does not suffice, let the Christian try all suitable ways to bring the other to a correct interpretation so that he may be saved (St. Ignatius de Loyola) -- CCC 2478

Boasting or bragging is an offense against truth. So is irony aimed at disparaging someone by maliciously caricaturing some aspect of his behavior. -- CCC 2481

Respect for the reputation of persons forbids every attitude and word likely to cause them unjust injury. He becomes guilty:

- of rash judgment who, even tacitly, assumes as true, without sufficient foundation, the moral fault of a neighbor;

- of detraction who, without objectively valid reason, discloses another's faults and failings to persons who did not know them;

- of calumny who, by remarks contrary to the truth, harms the reputation of others and gives occasion for false judgments concerning them. -- CCC 2477

Let us be slow to judge. — Each one sees things from his own point of view, as his mind, with all its limitations, tells him, and through eyes that are often dimmed and clouded by passion.

Moreover, as happens with those modernist painters, the outlook of certain people is so unhealthily subjective that they dash off a few random strokes and assure us that they represent our portrait, our conduct.

Of what little worth are the judgments of men! Don't judge without sifting your judgment in prayer. -- St. Josemaria, The Way 451

Charity does not consist so much in 'giving' as in 'understanding'. Therefore, seek an excuse for your neighbour — there is always one be found, — if it is your duty to judge. -- St. Josemaria, The Way 463

Seek first to understand then to be understood. We often prescribe before making a proper diagnosis when communicating. We should first take the time to deeply understand the problems presented to us. -- Steven Covey

It is no wonder that pride gives birth to dissension while love generates unity. -- St. Augustine, Sermon 46 on Pastors

"Among the proud there is always strife". (Prov 13:10): because he who has high concept of himself and looks down on others cannot bear their faults. -- St. Thomas Aquinas, About Charity 1.c.

Never correct anyone while you are still indignant about a fault committed. Wait until the next day, or even longer. And then, calmly, and with a purer intention, make your reprimand. You will gain more by one friendly word than by a three-hour quarrel. Control your temper. -- St. Josemaria, The Way 10

When you correct someone — because it has to be done and you want to do your duty — you must expect to hurt others and to get hurt yourself.

But you should never let this fact be an excuse for holding back. -- St. Josemaria, Forge 567

When they take their little children in their arms, mothers —good mothers— make sure they do not have any pins in their clothes which could hurt them. When we deal with souls, we should have the same gentleness, together with all the determination required. - St. Josemaria, Furrow 959

Carefully avoid anything that can hurt other people’s hearts. -- St. Josemaria, Furrow 807

If bare justice is done, people may feel hurt.

—Always act, therefore, for the love of God, which will add to that justice the balm of a neighbourly love, and will purify and cleanse all earthly love.

When you bring God in, everything becomes supernatural. -- St. Josemaria, Forge 502

Nothing makes us resemble God more than being always disposed to forgive. -- St. John Chrysostom, Homily on St. Matthew 19

It is mainly the deeds of a love so noble that lead many to put a brand upon us. See, they say, how they love one another; how they are ready even to die for one another, for they themselves will sooner put to death the other. -- Tertullian, Apologeticum 39,7

The whole concern of doctrine and its teaching must be directed to the love that never ends. Whether something is proposed for belief, for hope or for action, the love of our Lord must always be made accessible, so that anyone can see that all the works of perfect Christian virtue spring from love and have no other objective than to arrive at love (Roman Catechism) -- CCC 25

When we Catholics defend and uphold the truth, without making concessions, we have to strive to create an atmosphere of charity, of harmony, to drown all hatred and resentment. -- St.Josemaria, The Forge 564

Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. -- 1 Cor 13:4-7

It should be noted that blessedness is granted in proportion to charity and not in proportion to any other virtue. -- St. Thomas Aquinas, About Charity 1.c.