Characteristics of Fraternal Charity – Part 3 of 4

Father Valuy insists: “We must pardon and do good for evil, as God has pardoned us and rendered good for evil in Jesus Christ. . . . Charity gives no occasion to others to suffer, but suffers all patiently.”

“Charity patiently listens to a bore, answers a useless question, renders service even when the need is only imaginary, without ever betraying the least signs of annoyance. It never asks for exceptions or privileges for fear of exciting jealousy. It does not multiply nor prolong conversations which in any way annoy others. . . . It does not assume the office of reprehending or warning through a motive of bitter zeal. It seeks to find in oneself the faults it notices in others, and perhaps greater ones, and tries to correct them.”

“They who are animated by charity support patiently and in silence, in sentiments of humility and sweetness, as if they had neither eyes nor ears, the difficult, odd, and most inconstant humours of others, although they may find it very difficult at times to do so. No matter how regular and perfect we may be, we have always need of compassion and indulgence for others. To be borne with, we must bear with others; to be loved, we must love; to be helped, we must help; to be joyful ourselves, we must make others so.”

“Tell-tales, nasty names, cold answers, lies, mockery, harsh words, etc., are all contrary to charity. St. John Chrysostom says: ‘When anyone loads you with injuries, close your mouth, because if you open it you will only cause a tempest. When in a room between two open doors through which a violent wind rushes and throws things in disorder, if you close one door the violence of the wind is checked and order is restored. So it is when you are attacked by anyone with a bad tongue. Your mouth and his are open doors. Close yours, and the storm ceases. If, unfortunately, you open yours, the storm will become furious, and no one can tell what the damage may be.'”

Quotations from Benoit Valuy, Fraternal Charity (New York: Benziger Brothers, 1908).

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