Do Unto Others

That we may not be deceived by self-love, in considering matters that concern us, we ought to look at them as if they belonged to others, and our only business with them was to give our Judgment, not from interest, but in the cause of truth; and in the same way we should look on others’ affairs as our own. -St. Ignatius of Loyola

In the Lives of the Fathers it is narrated, that a person asked a holy abbot how he ought to act, when, in regulating the conduct or affairs of others, he was in doubt whether he should say or do certain things. The Saint replied: “Before saying or doing those things, reflect as to what your own feelings would be, if some one else should say or do them to you. And if you find that you would feel displeasure or resentment, use that same moderation and charity which you would desire to have practised towards you.”

The dissatisfaction we often feel when we have passed a great part of the day without being retired and absorbed in God, though we have been employed in works of obedience or charity, proceeds from a very subtle self-love, which disguises and hides itself. For it is a wish on our part to please ourselves rather than God. St. Teresa

Text from A Year With the Saints (New York: P.J. Kenedy & Sons, 1891).

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