The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis, Book III Chapter XXXVI: “Against Useless Judgments of Men” (third entry)
We end with the beginning of this chapter. Kempis sets before the reader well the theme of this chapter: be concerned to strictly follow the Lord regardless of what our fellow man thinks, says, or does. Follow a well-formed conscience, despite any worldly repercussions, to maintain right relationship with God.
|Today’s Gospel reading: Mt 16:13-20
The Gospel we hear proclaimed today is vitally important to Catholics. In it are firmly supported three doctrines of the Church: the founding of the institutional Church itself, the papacy, and sacramental confession. Jesus begins by taking a poll of the apostles regarding His identity. A variety off suggestions are proffered before Simon declares him the Messiah, the Son of God. Jesus indicates this answer was divinely inspired and makes Peter the foundation “Rock” of His Church which has the power to bind and loose sins. Finally, Jesus says to tell no one that He is the Christ.
I present the two quotes in the headline to emphasize the proper perspective on judgment. We are not to judge souls and should not be concerned when others have the audacity to judge ours. We are to form our conscience well and act according to this gift from God. When we disobey our conscience we are blessed to have recourse to the divinely instituted Sacrament of Reconciliation, another tremendous gift from a God ready and eager to forgive.His wayward children.
We are called not to be judgmental (Mt 7:1) but introspective. We all easily have a lifetime of work in examining, doing penance for, and purifying our own thoughts, words, and actions, without concerning ourselves with others’ disposition.