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St. Francis de Sales on bearing patiently with one another

2 min • Digitized on December 19, 2021

From The Spirit of St. Francis de Sales, page 79
By His friend, Jean Pierre Camus, Bishop of Belley


He laid great stress at all times on the duty of bearing with our neighbour, and thus obeying the commands of Holy Scripture, Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so you shall fulfil the law of Christ, and the counsels of the Apostle who so emphatically recommends this mutual support.

“To-day mine, to-morrow thine.” If to-day we put up with the ill-temper of our brother, to-morrow he will bear with our imperfections. We must in this life do like those who, walking on ice, give their hands to one another, so that if one slips, the other who has a firm foothold may support him.

St. John the Evangelist, towards the close of his life, exhorted his brethren not to deny one another this support, but to foster mutual charity, which prompts the Christian to help his neighbour, and is one of the chiefest precepts of Jesus Christ, Who, true Lamb of God, endured, and carried on His shoulders, and on the wood of the Cross, all our sins—an infinitely heavy burden, nor to be borne by any but Him. The value set by our Blessed Father on this mutual support was marvellous, and he went so far as to look upon it as the crown of our perfection.

He says on the subject to one who was very dear to him:

It is a great part of our perfection to bear with one another in our imperfections; for there is no better way of showing our own love for our neighbour.

God will, in His mercy, bear with him who has mercifully borne with the defects of his neighbour.

Forgive, and you shall be forgiven. Give, and it shall be given to you. Good measure of blessings, and pressed down, and shaken together, and running over shall they give into your bosom.

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