Friday, October 10, 2008

Human Qualities and Apostolic Charity

It is not sufficient to love souls in the secret of our heart, working and sacrificing ourselves for them; this love must also be manifested exteriorly by an agreeable and pleasant manner, in such a way that those who approach us may feel themselves loved, and consequently encouraged to confidence and to trust. A rude, brusque or impatient manner might even cause some to go away offended, and perhaps, even scandalized. The apostle may well have a heart of gold, rich in charity and zeal, but if he maintains a rough and sharp exterior, he closes access to souls, and considerably diminishes the good he could realize. The saints, while being very supernatural, never neglected these human qualities of charity. St. Francis de Sales liked to say that, as more flies are attracted with a drop of honey than with a barrel of vinegar, so more hearts are conquered by a little sweetness than by rough manners. And St. Teresa of Jesus, who wished her daughters to be united by the bond of pure supernatural charity, did not believe it superfluous to make recommendations of this kind: "The holier you are, the more sociable you should be with your sisters...." (The Way of Perfection) This is very useful advice for anyone who wishes to win souls for God.

~from Divine Intimacy by Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, OCD., p. 1009 Share

2 comments:

healthily sanguine said...

Thank you, I needed to read this. Every once in a while "themes" seem to crop up, in my reading and life, and the honey/vinegar theme seems to be prevalent right now. I should certainly have no reason to be sour!

elena maria vidal said...

You are welcome!