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In Holy Scriptures, three classes of men received wrongs.  All these men were reviled, abused, insulted and shoddily treated by sinners.  

The first class of men reacted with shame; their pain increased.  This is man's common reaction.  I am accused though I am innocent; my conscience is not enough to witness to my innocence.  I know I am innocent but I don't want my name stained.  Because I am weak, I demand an eye for an eye and repay abuse with abuse.  

The second class are more advanced in the spiritual life but not yet perfect.  Yes, they say, I do not return the insults and reproaches.  I remain silent and do not answer.  

The third class of men are the spiritually mature.  I bless those who curse me.  "Love your enemies, pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you."  So, Paul conquered his angry feelings for the heavenly reward promised.  "If you love your enemies, you are a Son of God."  David was like Paul.  When the son of Shimel cursed him and charged him with crimes, David was silent and uttered not even his good deeds.  He even prayed to be cursed in the hope of receiving Divine Pity.  

David's humility is seen when he said, " I was cursed because it is God's will that I be cursed,"  believing that whatever God has ordered must be endured.  

David suffered from his own family. . ."Behold, my son Absalom seeketh my life."  We must learn how to bear with our family so we can bear the insults of strangers.  

True evangelical spirit is this:  before the face of insults, not only must we remain unoffended but even be thankful for the abuse, bearing all as an occasion for spiritual growth and the attainment of the promise:  "Lord, make me to know mine end and the measure of my days, what it is that I may know what is wanting to me."  

As a man, David was hurt by the wrong done to him; but as a soldier he conquered.  The end and aim of patience is the attainment of heaven.        

St. Ambrose: Duties of the Clergy, Chapter 48, Bk I  







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