Monday, January 29, 2007

St. Francis de Sales on Hasty Judgement (on His Traditional Feast Day)

"'Judge not, that you may not be judged' were our Saviour's words. Rash judgements are most displeasing to God. Men's judgements are rash, because we are not one other's judges but usurp our Lord's right.

But it is necessary to judge ourselves. St. Paul says, 'If we judged ourselves truly, we should not be judged' (1 Cor. 11:31).

We must ask why we make rash judgements. Some of us are naturally bitter and harsh, and we could do with sound spiritual advice, because this imperfection is hard to overcome.

Some judge harshly out of pride, putting themselves up by putting others down. Some view the faults of others with complacency in order to enhance their own virtues. Others judge by feeling, thinking well of those they like, and ill of those they dislike. Jealousy, fear, ambition, and other weaknesses tend to excite rash judgement.

The remedy is charity. Rash judgement is a spiritual jaundice which makes things appear evil. The cure is to apply love. If your heart is gentle, your judgement will be gentle; if it is loving, so will your judgement be. "

-Introduction to the Devout Life


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