"For with the same measure that you shall mete withal, it shall be measured to you again." LUKE vi. 38.
|St. Alphonsus de Liguori, |
Bishop and Doctor of the Church
We so easily forget the words of St. Paul, that if we do not have love, charity - all is in vain, we are but tinkling cymbals... We may go to the most beautiful Mass; indulge in copious amounts of incense, listen to Gregorian chant, or polyphony.... but if we cannot listen to the hurt and pain in our brother's heart... we are frauds. If we detract, create and spread gossip, indulge in and spread scandal we are spiritual charlatans, hypocrites.
We write this, as we have become aware of continued uncharitable (well, it would be childish if conducted by children) quarreling, backbiting and name calling via the internet etc., by those who would claim to love and advance the traditional Latin Mass in Toronto. This is evil and must stop. Detraction, slander, holding grudges is not the pathway to Heaven. Ah you are saying ! - "he did this", or "he did that"... FORGET IT! Is what a brother or sister said, cause to further evil, to further scandal, to further mockers of the Latin Mass (indeed the Catholic Church) to say: "for them it is all an elaborate show, a pageant, theatre ..." Do we really want those who do not attend the Latin Mass to say to themselves: "these people attend the Mass, but they do not live it"?
Now, if you are reading this, and qualifying yourself and indulging in self-justification, you have not really read this, nor do you have humility. This is a scandal.
"God does not accept the sacrifice of a sower of disunion, but commands that he depart from the altar so that he may first be reconciled with his brother. For God can be appeased only by prayers that make peace. To God, the better offering is peace, brotherly concord, and a people made one in the unity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit" (St. Cyprian).
St. Alphonus de Liguori's sermon on charity might be a fine way of closing this post. Please consider posting your reflections in the combox, but this blog will NOT become a site for perpetuating sin. If you cannot forgive your brother, then we suggest you go elsewhere. Remember, that if Our Blessed Saviour could die for your "enemy"-- can you not, for the love of your Saviour, turn the other cheek, and reach out in love to (you still don't have to like) your brother?
In Jesus and Mary, the "Witness Team"
In Jesus and Mary, the "Witness Team"
With regard to the practice of fraternal charity in words, we ought, in the first place, and above all, to abstain from all detraction. ”The tale-bearer shall defile his own soul, and shall be hated by all." (Eccl. xxi. 31.) ... St. Bernard says that the tongue of a detractor is a three-edged sword... With one of these edges it destroys the reputation of a neighbour; with the second it wounds the souls of those who listen to the detraction; and with the third it kills the soul of the detractor by depriving him of the divine grace. You will say: ”I have spoken of my neighbour only in secret to my friends, and have made them promise not to mention to others what I told them." This excuse will not stand: no; you are, as the Lord says, the serpent that bites in silence. ”If a serpent bite in silence, he is nothing better that backbiteth secretly." (Eccl. x. 11.) Your secret defamation bites and destroys the character of a neighbour.
They who listen to detraction, and afterwards go and tell what was said to the person whose character had been injured, have to render a great account too. These are called talebearers. Oh! how great is the evil produced by these talebearing tongues that are thus employed in sowing discord. They are objects of God’s hatred. "The Lord hateth him that soweth discord among brethren." (Prov. vi. 16, 19).
”Strive not," says the Holy Ghost, ”in matters which do not concern thee." (Eccl. xi. 9.) But they will say: “I only defend reason; I cannot bear these assertions which are contrary to reason." In answer to these defenders of reason, Cardinal Bellarmine says, that an ounce of charity is better than a hundred loads of reason. In conversation, particularly when the subject of it is unimportant, state your opinion, if you wish to take part in the discourse, and then keep yourself in peace, and be on your guard against obstinacy in defending your own opinion. In such contests it is always better to yield.
And, should you happen to hear a person speak ill of a neighbour, be careful not to encourage his uncharitableness, nor to show any curiosity to hear the faults of others. If you do, you will be guilty of the same sin which the detractor commits. ”Hedge in thy ears with thorns," says Ecclesiasticus, ”and hear not a wicked tongue." (Eccl. xxviii. 28.)
Charity also requires that we be meek to all, and particularly to those who are opposed to us. When a person is angry with you, and uses injurious language, remember that a "mild answer breaketh wrath." (Prov. xv. 1.) Reply to him with meekness, and you shall find that his anger will be instantly appeased. But, if you resent the injury, and use harsh language, you will increase the same; the feeling of revenge will grow more violent, and you will expose yourself to the danger of losing your soul by yielding to an act of hatred, or by breaking out into expressions grievously injurious to your neighbour. Whenever you feel the soul agitated by passion, it is better to force yourself to remain silent, and to make no reply; for, as St. Bernard says, an eye clouded with anger cannot distinguish between right and wrong. ”Turbatus præ ira oculus rectum non videt." (Lib. 2 de Consid., cap. xi.) Should it happen that in a fit of passion you have insulted a neighbour, charity requires that you use every means to allay his wounded feelings, and to remove from his heart all sentiments of rancour towards you. The best means of making reparation for the violation of charity is to humble yourself to the person whom you have offended.