Annual Retreat Exercise #5: An examination of the state of our soul towards our neighbour

October 21, 2021 • 1 min

From Introduction to the Devout Life, page 271
By St. Francis de Sales

CHAPTER VI.

An examination of the state of our soul towards our neighbour.

The love of husband and wife ought to be sweet, calm, strong, constant, and persevering: and this principally because it is agreeable to the ordinance of God. I say the same of the love of our children and near relations, and also of our friends, everyone according to his rank.

But to speak in general, how is your heart affected towards your neighbour? Do you love him from your heart, and for the love of God? To discern this well, you must bring to your mind certain troublesome and intractable people, for it is here we exercise the love of God towards our neighbour; and much more with regard to such as injure us either by their actions or words. Examine well whether your heart is free in their regard, or whether you do not find a greater repugnance to love them.

Are you not apt to speak ill of your neighbours, and especially of such as do not like you? Do you refrain from doing evil to your neighbour, either directly or indirectly? Provided you are a reasonable person, you will easily perceive it.

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