Short remedies against detraction, anger, arrogance, and imprudence

December 9, 2021 • 3 min

From The Sinner’s Guide, page 390
By Venerable Louis of Granada

Detraction exclaims: It is impossible to be silent any longer about the faults of such a one. Is not concealment condoning them and rendering ourselves partakers of them?

Charity, which appreciates the duty of fraternal correction, answers: You must neither publish your neighbor’s sins nor be accessory to them; but reprove him with mildness and patiently bear with him.

Moreover, it is the part of wisdom sometimes to ignore the faults of another until a favorable opportunity occurs for warning him against them.

Anger cries out: How can you bear such affronts? It does not become you to submit calmly to such injuries. If you do not resent them you will be insulted with impunity.

Patience answers: Reflect upon the ignominy our Saviour endured for you, and there is no wrong which you will not bear with meekness.

Remember also these words of St. Peter: “Christ suffered for us, leaving you an example that you should follow His steps. Who, when He was reviled, did not revile; when He suffered, He threatened not.” [1 St. Peter ii. 21, 23.]

Consider also how trifling are our sufferings compared to the torments He endured for us. He was buffeted, scourged, spat upon, crowned with thorns, covered with ignominy, and nailed to a cross. And, though all these were borne for us, yet how quickly we are enraged by a trifling word or a slight incivility!

Hardness-of-heart urges: It profits nothing to speak kindly to stupid, ignorant men who will probably presume upon your kindness and become insolent.

Meekness answers: Do not hearken to such thoughts, but heed the words of the Apostle: “The servant of the Lord must not wrangle, but be mild towards all men.” [2 Tim. ii, 24.]

Inferiors should endeavor with no less care to bear themselves with meekness and respect towards their superiors, and beware of presuming, as many do, upon the kindness and gentleness of those in authority.

Presumption and Imprudence argue thus: God witnesses your actions; what do you care, then, how they affect others?

Prudence answers: You owe a duty of edification to your neighbor, and your actions should furnish him no reason to suspect evil. Beware, therefore, of scandalizing another, even in acts that are good but misunderstood. If the reproofs of your neighbor are well founded, humbly acknowledge your fault; if you are guiltless, avow your innocence with no less sincere humility.

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