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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Do you have the courage and charity to make another person aware of his wrongdoing? - Daily Reflections August 12,2015


THE CROSS OF FRATERNAL CORRECTION
 
When we discussed today’s Gospel in one of my classes, I asked the students, “What do you do when you see somebody doing something wrong?”
       Their answers were quite honest: “I just keep quiet.” “I leave the place.” “I tell my friends about it.” “I put a general comment on Facebook.”
       Most of us would answer similarly because we often hesitate to do what Jesus wants us to do. We are afraid of confrontation. We are afraid of being hated by the person we intend to rebuke. So instead of confronting the person or issue, we make generalizations on Facebook or give “blind” comments to friends. It becomes a game for others to try to figure out what the wrongdoing was or why we are upset. At times, the one who did something wrong is not even aware of it and might go on doing it. Sometimes, other people write a letter to the person who did wrong because they want to avoid a direct confrontation.
       Jesus knew exactly that avoidance, silence, gossip or letter-writing will not do anything good. As we said, this does not change the situation at all. When we brood about it, it poisons our mind and life and we lose our inner peace.
       In our novitiate, we had a monthly “fraternal correction.” It was not easy sitting together, with each novice voicing out what he thought a co-novice had done wrong. It was done after a prayer to the Holy Spirit and some remarks by the novice master. It was painful, but afterwards the atmosphere would become lighter and more joyful. It was as if the sun had appeared after a thunderstorm.
       Prayer for guidance — and especially charity — helps to open up the matter and the heart of the other person. If done with love, in most cases a deeper relationship will develop. After all, Jesus knows what is good. Fr. Rudy Horst, SVD
 
REFLECTION QUESTION: Do you have the courage and charity to make another person aware of his wrongdoing?
 
Lord, today’s message is a difficult one. Make me always aware that I am “my brother’s keeper” and that I can help a person to realize his wrongdoings.

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