GeE 117: Rejoice In The Good Of Others

See the source imageLeaning to ever more difficult advice, where learning is concerned:

117. It is not good when we look down on others like heartless judges, lording it over them and always trying to teach them lessons. That is itself a subtle form of violence. [There are some forms of bullying that, while seeming delicate or respectful and even quite spiritual, cause great damage to others’ self-esteem.]

A Doctor of the Church offers a way quite incongruent to modern culture:

Saint John of the Cross proposed a different path: “Always prefer to be taught by all, rather than to desire teaching even the least of all”. [Precautions, 13]

Especially for those of us whose upbringing was forged in competition, this is particularly difficult:

And he added advice on how to keep the devil at bay: “Rejoice in the good of others as if it were your own, and desire that they be given precedence over you in all things; this you should do wholeheartedly. You will thereby overcome evil with good, banish the devil, and possess a happy heart. Try to practice this all the more with those who least attract you. Realize that if you do not train yourself in this way, you will not attain real charity or make any progress in it”. [Ibid.]

Thinking of rivals, troublesome bosses and coworkers, peers in school, adversaries in parish life: just making me think about it makes my head tingle a bit. But I expect that evil can be overcome by this method.

You can check the full document Gaudete et Exsultate on the Vatican website.

 

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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