Be not troubled about those who are with you or
against you, but take care that God be with you in
everything you do. Keep your conscience clear and God
will protect you, for the malice of man cannot harm
one whom God wishes to help. If you know how to
suffer in silence, you will undoubtedly experience
God's help. He knows when and how to deliver you;
therefore, place yourself in His hands, for it is a
divine prerogative to help men and free them from all
It is often good for us to have others
know our faults and rebuke them, for it gives us
greater humility. When a man humbles himself because
of his faults, he easily placates those about him and
readily appeases those who are angry with him.
It is the humble man whom God protects and
liberates; it is the humble whom He loves and
consoles. To the humble He turns and upon them
bestows great grace, that after their humiliation He
may raise them up to glory. He reveals His secrets to
the humble, and with kind invitation bids them come
to Him. Thus, the humble man enjoys peace in the
midst of many vexations, because his trust is in God,
not in the world. Hence, you must not think that you
have made any progress until you look upon yourself
as inferior to all others.
First keep peace with yourself; then you will be able to bring
peace to others. A peaceful man does more good than a learned man.
Whereas a passionate man turns even good to evil and is quick to
believe evil, the peaceful man, being good himself, turns all
things to good.
The man who is at perfect ease is never
suspicious, but the disturbed and discontented spirit is upset by
many a suspicion. He neither rests himself nor permits others to
do so. He often says what ought not to be said and leaves undone
what ought to be done. He is concerned with the duties of others
but neglects his own.
Direct your zeal, therefore, first upon yourself; then you may
with justice exercise it upon those about you. You are well versed
in coloring your own actions with excuses which you will not
accept from others, though it would be more just to accuse
yourself and excuse your brother. If you wish men to bear with
you, you must bear with them. Behold, how far you are from true
charity and humility which does not know how to be angry with
anyone, or to be indignant save only against self!
It is no great thing to associate with the good and gentle, for
such association is naturally pleasing. Everyone enjoys a peaceful
life and prefers persons of congenial habits. But to be able to
live at peace with harsh and perverse men, or with the
undisciplined and those who irritate us, is a great grace, a
praiseworthy and manly thing.
Some people live at peace with themselves and with their fellow
men, but others are never at peace with themselves nor do they
bring it to anyone else. These latter are a burden to everyone,
but they are more of a burden to themselves. A few, finally, live
at peace with themselves and try to restore it to others.
Now, all our peace in this miserable life is found in humbly
enduring suffering rather than in being free from it. He who knows
best how to suffer will enjoy the greater peace, because he is the
conqueror of himself, the master of the world, a friend of Christ,
and an heir of heaven.