The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis, Book III Chapter XXVIII: “Against the Tongues of Slanderers” (first entry)
This very brief chapter simply has Christ telling us that we should not be troubled in the least by those who speak ill of us. Rather we should think even worse of ourselves and simply turn to God. This approach brings true interior peace.
|Today’s Gospel reading: Mt 13:36-43
The Gospel repeats the explanation of the Parable of the Weeds and the Wheat we heard a week ago Sunday. Those inspired by the devil (the weeds) will always be troublesome to the righteous (the wheat). At the end of time, God will send His angels to separate the good and the evil, with those remaining faithful attaining eternal glory while those persisting in unfaithfulness being condemned to unending suffering.
The weeds (those who wish to do us ill) will always be with us. The devil takes great delight in putting these obstacles in our way, so that we might stumble and veer from the path of righteousness. Allowing persons such as these to cause us distress by their rash judgment, detraction, or calumny (see the CCC section on Offenses Against Truth from 2475-2487) is contrary to God’s desire for us. Difficult as it is to do, we must pray even more earnestly for those who wish to do us harm (certainly never to respond in kind, becoming weeds ourselves), always remembering that we have many faults, regardless, that the True Judge knows well and with whose help we must work to overcome.
But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust. (Mt 5:44-45)