Josemaría Escrivá Obras
 
 
 
 
 
 
  Christ is passing by > Christian respect for persons and their freedom > Number 72
72

At the beginning we were surprised at the attitude of Jesus' disciples toward the man born blind. They were consistent with that unfortunate saying: "Think badly and you'll be right." Afterwards, as they come to know the Master better, and realize what it means to be a Christian, their thoughts are gradually tempered by understanding.

"In any man," writes St Thomas Aquinas, "there is an aspect under which others can consider him superior to themselves, according to the Apostle's words, 'Each of you must have the humility to think others better men than himself' (Phil 2:3). It is in this spirit that all men should honour one another." Humility is the virtue that teaches us that the signs of respect for others — for their good name, their good faith, their privacy — are not external conventions, but the first signs of charity and justice.

Christian charity cannot be limited to giving things or money to the needy. It seeks, above all, to respect and understand each person for what he is, in his intrinsic dignity as a man and child of God. Consequently, those who impugn the reputation and honour of others show that they are ignorant of some truths of our christian faith and, in any case, lacking in an authentic love of God. "The charity by which we love God and our neighbour is the same virtue, for God is the reason for our loving our neighbour, and we love God when we love our neighbour with charity."

I hope we will be able to derive some very practical consequences from this conversation with God. Let us especially resolve not to judge others, not to doubt their good will, to drown evil in an abundance of good, sowing loyal friendship, justice and peace all around us.

And let us resolve never to become sad if our upright conduct is misunderstood by others; if the good which, with the continuous help of our Lord, we try to accomplish is misinterpreted by others, who delight in unjustly guessing at our motives and accuse us of wicked designs and deceitful behaviour.

Let us forgive always, with a smile on our lips. Let us speak clearly, without hard feelings, when in conscience we think we ought to speak. And let us leave everything in the hands of our Father God, with a divine silence — "Jesus was silent" — if we are confronted with personal attacks, no matter how brutal and shameful they might be. Let us concern ourselves only with doing good deeds. God will see to it that they "shine before men."

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