Lent 2012: Day 16

[There] is one class of kind thoughts which must be dwelt upon apart. I allude to kind interpretations. The habit of not judging others is one which it is very difficult to acquire, and which is generally not acquired till very late on in the spiritual life. If men have ever indulged in judging others, the very sight of an action almost indeliberately suggests an internal commentary upon it.

An action occurs and what do I do? Being the cynic and pessimist I am, I assume the worse. The cause of the delay is nothing short of contempt for others. The motivation for behavior is nothing short of disrespect of authority. Up-turned corners of the mouth become a smirk. I — and Faber, probably rightly, suggests the majority of others — take personal insult where none is intended, disrespect where none is offered, and cowardice where none is evidenced.

Now all this is simple ruin to our souls. At any risk, at the cost of life, there must be an end of this, or it will end in everlasting banishment from God. The decree of the last judgment is absolute. It is this the measure which we have meted to others.

Perhaps this is what was really meant by “Judge not, lest ye be judged.”

The quoted excerpt is from Father Frederick Faber’s Spiritual Conferences, excerpted here.

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