Ninth Sunday after
Thoughts for the Week - Fr R Taouk
26th July 2015
On How Fraternal
Correction Ought To Be Given by Rev. Bishop George Hay
To give fraternal
correction properly the following rules are to be observed.
There ought to be a
real fault committed, or a real danger incurred: nothing is
more disgusting than one who is always chiding and fretting
upon every little trifling occasion; admonition from such
people can have little or no effect even when a real cause
occurs; all they say will be attributed more to their
fretful humour and peevishness, than to reason and charity.
It must proceed from
real charity, that is, from a real love for the person, and
a desire for the good of his soul; for, as our Saviour says,
"If he shall hear you, you shall gain your brother;" by this
he clearly shows that the motive for correcting should only
be with a view to gain him, who might be lost if not
admonished. But if the correction arises either from any
hatred to the person, or from anger or displeasure, it will
always do mischief, and instead of brotherly correction,
becomes a sinful vent of one's own passion. It will easily
be perceived by the person corrected, whence the correction
proceeds; if he be convinced it arises from love it cannot
fail to be taken well; but if otherwise, it will only
provoke and irritate.
It must be done with
meekness and humility, which will always be the case when it
flows from a real charity. "Brethren," says St. Paul, "if a
man be overtaken in any fault, you who are spiritual,
instruct such a one in the spirit of meekness, considering
yourself, lest you also be tempted" (Gal. 6:1).
It must be in
season, when the person is disposed to receive it; not when
in a passion, or obstinately engaged in dispute, or when it
exposes him to humiliation before others; because then there
is little room to hope for success.
correct others profitably, must never presume himself, but
confide in God alone for success, and therefore be earnest
in recommending the whole affair to God, who alone can touch
the heart, and give a blessing to our words, "Consider the
works of God, that no man can correct whom he despises" (Ecclus. 7:14).
correction ought never to proceed from any other motive than
real charity, zeal for the glory of God, and the good of the
soul of the person corrected, and from a consciousness of
its being their duty. Hence all anger and passion ought to
be banished far from them, as well as from others, in
exercising this duty; but it will be often necessary for
them both to correct in public, and punish, where there are
small hopes of amendment; for the sake of discipline, and
for preventing the fall of others, and lest their silence
should be interpreted an approbation.