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DO NOT CRITICIZE

Dearest Sister Florentina,

Never criticize anyone in her absence; never whisper against someone's way of life to show your superiority.  She who criticizes has no love in her; she has ill-will.

Charity demands we correct the other in her presence and not tear her apart in her absence.  One who is present is corrected; the one who is absent is criticized or gossiped about.  

If you hear ill-reports about others, groan as if the ill-report is against you.  If the other has sinned, seek to cure rather than to cut off; correct such a one gently in her presence; do not criticize her in her absence or you will sin and, by your sin, make the sinner worse.  Guard your heart lest, listening to gossips, you become accustomed to it.  

The sick sinner is a member of Christ's body; she is a weak member that must be cured by the stronger members rather than destroyed.          

St. Leander of Seville: "The Training of Nuns" Chap. 14

 

 

 

(05-20-05)

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