Since we are all called by this one God, redeemed by one price, and imbued by the one Spirit, let us then endeavor to love and serve one another.
If we wish to be pleasing to Christ, then let us bear one another's burdens and in charity pray for one another, for God is in each of us, and each of us is in God. Whatever imperfection or foolishness we witness in a brother, we ought to interpret it kindly, as we would wish it done to us.
Bear with others, and they will bear with you; excuse others, and you, too, will be excused. Have compassion on the sinner, and compassion will be yours. Comfort the mournful, and you will be comforted by one in joy. Raise one who has fallen, and by the help of God you, too, shall be raised up.... Do not be surprised or astonished if one who is frail should fall in this world, for angels fell in heaven, and Adam was overcome by a puny apple in paradise. It often happens that a man suffers a severe temptation because of something that is indeed very small or because of a simple annoyance on the part of another.... Be kind to a brother suffering temptation, and pray for one who is troubled, just as you would pray for yourself. Your good fortune is my good fortune because I rejoice with you, and your misfortune becomes mine because of my compassion for you. Since we are all frail men, we are bound in charity to pray for one another....
Maintain silence with regard to another if you have no authority to admonish him; rather, look to yourself, and correct what you find there. If you think you are right and still intend to set your neighbor straight, then first begin with yourself and only later proceed to correct him, but with modesty and prudence, setting aside all hostilit.... He who prays for another as he does for himself performs two worthy deeds. The more one is imbued with fraternal charity, the more willingly will he pray that the other may amend his life and no longer give offense to those who are weak.
Thomas à Kempis. "Seeing Clearly." from The Imitation of Christ Lib II, cap, 2-3 (ca. 1418-1427).
This book is in the Public Domain.
Thomas a Kempis, C.R.S.A. c. 1380-1471) was a Dutch canon regular of the late medieval period and the author of The Imitation of Christ, one of the most popular and best known Christian books on devotion.Copyright © 1427 Public Domain
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