Mutual Forbearance is an Essential Precept of Charity.
PRAYER BEFORE MEDITATION.
My God, I firmly believe that Thou art here present. I acknowledge that on account of my many sins I am utterly unworthy to appear before Thy sacred countenance. Yet, confiding in Thy infinite goodness and mercy, I venture to address Thee, to call upon Thy holy name, and meditate upon Thy commandments, in order that I may acquire a better knowledge of Thy holy will, and accomplish it with more fidelity. Wherefore enlighten my understanding that I may perceive what I ought to do or leave undone for the promotion of Thy glory and my own salvation; at the same time excite my will, that I may repent with my whole heart of my past sins, and resolve for the future to do all that Thou requirest of me. Grant me above all to know Jesus, my divine Teacher and Guide, more clearly, that I may love Him more dearly, and consequently labor, struggle and suffer with greater generosity and self-sacrifice in imitation of His example. Holy Mary, Mother of God and my Mother, show Jesus to me now, and let me study thy divine Son to the salvation of my soul. Holy Guardian Angel, keep far from me all distracting thoughts; my patron saint, come to my assistance. Amen.
Mutual Forbearance is an Essential Precept of Charity.
The Gospel according to St. Matthew, xxii. 15-21.
“Then the Pharisees, going, consulted among themselves how to ensnare Him in His speech. And they sent to Him their disciples with the Herodians, saying: Master, we know that Thou art a true speaker, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest Thou for any man: for Thou dost not regard the person of men. Tell us, therefore, what dost Thou think, Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar or not? But Jesus, knowing their wickedness, said: Why do you tempt Me, ye hypocrites? Show Me the coin of the tribute. And they offered Him a penny. And Jesus saith to them: Whose image and inscription is this? They say to Him: Cæsar’s. Then He saith to them: Render, therefore, to Cæsar the things that are Cæsar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”
We will meditate upon mutual forbearance, which is the third characteristic of charity, and of which Jesus Christ, in the gospel of the day, gives us a beautiful example. We shall see: 1st, that this mutual forbearance forms an essential portion of the precept of charity; 2d, that God makes of it a special law incumbent on us; 3d, that justice itself obliges us to observe it. Our resolution shall be: 1st, to bear with the defects and the wrongs done us by our neighbor without complaint and without reproaching him for them, and, above all, in a manner calculated to humble him; 2d, not to take any notice of his mistakes or his blunders, but, on the contrary, not to seem to perceive them, when we have not the mission to reprove them.
“We ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves” (Rom. xv. i).
Let us adore the patience of Our Lord in the gospel of the day. His enemies, who were bent on His destruction, addressed to Him this insidious question: “Is it lawful to pay tribute to Cæsar?” If He answered Yes, He would be odious to the people, who pretended, as being the people of God, not to owe anything to Cæsar; if He said No, He would be odious to the prince whose authority He did not recognize. Jesus Christ bears with patience and meekness the perfidy of those who thus question Him; He is not angry, and He calmly makes them an answer full of divine wisdom: a beautiful example well worthy of our admiration and our praise, and teaching us to bear with calmness and in peace the malice of men. Let us offer Him our thanksgivings.
These two things are so closely linked together that, without mutual forbearance, no charity would be possible and we must efface the precept from the gospel, for every man here below has his defects and his imperfections; there are no angels except in heaven; if you do not bear with them, union is broken and charity disturbed. Every man has his own temperament; inclinations and characters are not the same; opinions and ideas contradict one another; wills come in contact, tastes vary. Now, amidst so many diverse or contrary elements, the fusion of hearts in such a manner as to form but one heart and one soul, as charity commands, is only possible in so far as we bear with one another, that we remember we all of us have our weaknesses, and that we suffer charitably and patiently (II. Thess. iii. 5) all that shocks us, all that displeases us, and all that does not harmonize with our tastes or our humor. Without this endurance, the fusion of hearts would be as impossible as the fusion of water with fire, of light with darkness, and there would necessarily be divisions, quarrels, and discord. The experience of every day attests it; and thou, O holy charity, thou who art so beautiful a virtue, who dost form the charm of our exile, the consolation of our sorrows, thou wouldst disappear from the earth. What a misfortune, and what ought we not to endure in order to prevent it!
October Devotions: The Holy Angels and the Holy Rosary
Virtue to practice: Confidence
PRAYER TO ST. RAPHAEL, ARCHANGEL. Glorious Archangel, St. Raphael, great prince of the heavenly court, illustrious by thy gifts of wisdom and grace, guide of travellers by land and sea, consoler of the unfortunate and refuge of sinners, I entreat thee to help me in all my needs and in all the trials of this life, as thou didst once assist the young Tobias in his journeying. And since thou art the “physician of God,” I humbly pray thee to heal my soul of its many infirmities and my body of the ills that afflict it, if this favor is for my greater good. I ask, especially, for angelic purity, that I may be made fit to be the living temple of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
His Holiness, Leo XIII., by a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, June 21, 1890, granted to the faithful who shall recite the above prayer AN INDULGENCE OF ONE HUNDRED DAYS, once a day. .
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