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HOW TO ADMONISH THE KINDLY AND THE ENVIOUS

The kindly must be encouraged to rejoice in the good in others.  We must multiply the good deeds of others by imitation.  We sin greatly if we do not regard with affection the good deeds of others and we do not get any reward if we do not imitate the good we love in others.  

The kindly must be taught not to be mere foolish spectators who are pleased with the performers but do not wish to be like those whom they applaud.  Foolish spectators want to be pleased but decline to please others.  

The envious should see the blindness of being disheartened by another's progress and being sad at the happiness of others.  The envious deteriorates at the progress of others.  What can be more unfortunate than such people who are grieved by the sight of others' happiness.

By envy, you will be as wicked as the devil for of him it is written: "But by the envy of the devil, death came into the world."  Just because he lost heaven, he also wants man to lose heaven; in his own ruin, he stores up more damnation for himself by ruining others. 

If Cain did not envy the pleasing sacrifice of his brother, he would not have murdered Abel.  He wholly cut off from life him whom he was grieved to see better than himself. The envious destroys whatever little good he has:  "Envy is the rottenness of the bones."

St. Gregory the Great: Pastoral Care, Part III, Chapter 10

 

 


 

 

(03-25-04)

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