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St. Francis de Sales on Judging Ourselves instead of Others

2 min • Digitized on December 24, 2021

#Bible Commentary #Doctors of the Church #Doctrine #Justice #Morals

From The Spirit of St. Francis de Sales, page 89
By His friend, Jean Pierre Camus, Bishop of Belley


Blessed Francis has said:

We do exactly the reverse of what the Gospel bids us do. The Gospel commands us to judge ourselves severely and exactly, while it forbids us to judge our brethren.

If we did judge ourselves, we should not be judged by God, because, forestalling His judgment and confessing our faults, we should escape His condemnation.

On the other hand, who are we that we should judge our brethren, the servants of another? To their own Master they rise or fall.

Let us not judge before the time until the Lord shall reveal what is hidden in darkness and pierce the wall of the temple to show what passes therein.

Man judges by appearances only. God alone sees the heart; and it is by that which is within that true judgment is made of that which is without.

So rash are we in our judgments that we as often as not seize the firebrand by the burning end; that is, we condemn ourselves while in the very act of rebuking others.

The reproach of the Gospel, Physician, heal thyself, [St. Luke iv. 23.] we may take to ourselves.

So also that other, Why seest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, and seest not the beam that is in thy own eye? [St. Matt. vii. 3.]

To notice which way we are going is the first condition of our walking in the right way, according to the words of David, I have thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies. [Psalm cxviii. 59.]

So, on the other hand, we go astray if we do not pay attention to the path we are following. Judge not others and you will not be judged; judge yourselves, and God will have mercy on you.

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