Josemaría Escrivá Obras

It happens, however, that some people (who are good, or should we rather say 'goodish') pay lip service to the beautiful ideal of spreading our faith, but in practice they make do with a superficial and careless professional output. They seem scatterbrained. If we happen to come across such Christians, we should do our best to help them, affectionately but uncompromisingly, having recourse where necessary to the gospel remedy of fraternal correction: 'Brethren, if a man is found guilty of some fault, you who are spiritually minded ought to show a spirit of gentleness in correcting him. Have an eye upon thyself, lest thou too be tempted. Bear one another's burdens and so you will be fulfilling the law of Christ.' If besides the fact that they claim to be Catholics there are other factors involved, because, for instance, those at fault are older, or have more experience or responsibility, then there is all the more reason to talk to them. We should try to get them to react, helping them take their work more seriously, trying to guide them, like a good parent does or a teacher, but without humiliating them.

It is very moving to pause and meditate on the way St Paul behaved. 'You know well enough what you have to do to imitate us. We were no vagabonds among you. We would not even be indebted to you for our daily bread, but we worked night and day in labour and toil, so that we might not burden any of you... The charge we gave you on our visit was this: if any man will not work, neither let him eat.'

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