Wednesday, February 15, 2012



My brothers, do not think you must speak the truth to a Christian but can lie to a pagan. You are speaking to your brother, born like you from Adam and Eve: realize that each man is your neighbour even before he is a Christian; you have no idea how God sees him.

The man you mock at for adoring stones may be converted, and may worship God more fervently than you who laughed at him. Some who are not yet in the Church are near to us, and some hidden there are far away. You cannot see into the future, so let every man be your neighbour.

Suppose you saw someone walking in the dark and you knew of an open well into which he might fall and didn't warn him - you would rightly be held an enemy of his soul. And yet, if he fell in, only his body would die. If you see him falling into sin, and you chuckle over it - what then?

It is by love alone that the sons of God are distinguished from the children of the devil.  A man can baptized and so reborn but let him look into his heart and see if he loves his neighbour, and if so he can say truly, 'I am a child of God'.

But if not, though he has received the character of the sacrament, he is no better than a deserter or a vagabond. Only those who love their brethren are children of God. 

St Augustine --- The Heart at Rest


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