Thursday, June 12, 2014

St. Francis de Sales: Balancing Zeal with Charity

St. Francis
The Bishop had learnt through sundry credible witnesses that in the early days of my episcopate I was much too sharp and unmeasured in my zeal, that I was often most indiscreet in rebuking, and that my words were rough and harsh. One day he took me aside, and with his usual wisdom and gentleness, impressed his rules upon me so forcibly that I have never forgotten them. “Those who are in authority,” he said, “are unquestionably bound to correct the faulty, but when they have to tell unpalatable truths, these should be so softened with charity and kindness as to take away all sting, otherwise the result will be very imperfect, and the rebuke will fail of its intended effect. You may take it as a sure sign that your charity is not genuine, if your words, however true, are not charitable.”

Taken from the book:

The Spirit of St. Francis De Sales

By: Jean-Pierre Camus

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