Friday, August 15, 2008

Move forward

But don’t try to measure how far you have gone, lest you fall back again. Feel, but be not overwhelmed, lest you be unable to proceed. If overwhelmed you must be, be so with love for God. Serve as much as you are able. But take care you have no desire to be served. Request, but do not seek to order. Never speak ill of others, but indulge in no untruth.

Be patient, but in being so, don’t become and idle procrastinator. Be swift, but don’t spoil everything by your unwise annoyance. Be brave, but not like a tiger or bear – cruel. Be firmly resolved, but do not become obstinate. Bear all yourself. Help him who cannot bear; hate him not but encourage and sympathize. Be miserly to praise yourself, but for others be lavish. First embrace him with whom you are angry, invite him to eat in your own home, send gifts, and until you can speak to him with an open heart, pray with repentance for his good to God; for from hatred you will gradually become narrow, and narrowness is sin.

If anyone do an injustice to you and you must at all take revenge, behave with him in such a way that it may make him repentant. There is no revenge like that repentance – the fire made of husks. It is blissful to both. Do not abolish friendship; otherwise, in your distress you will get neither sympathy nor consolation. Even if your friend be dishonest, do not give him up; rather give up his company if necessary. But with affection in your heart help him in his distress and danger, in thought, word and deed. And embrace him when you find he has become repentant. If your friend has gone astray and you do not try to bring him back, or if you give him up, its punishment will not forsake you either.

Do not spread scandal about your friend. Don’t speak ill of him in any way. But also, do not indulge him in any of his faults. Be not arrogant to a friend, but punish him with love and affectionate dignity. Bear no expectation from a friend, but receive with love whatever you may get. Give, but hope not for any return. For anything received, try to reciprocate.

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