Sunday, February 23, 2014

A Christian's Good Name

It is one thing to love honor and human esteem for themselves and to rest in them, which is evil, and it is another thing to love these things for some good end, which is not evil. [...] Not only persons in authority, but Christians in general, should practice what is written: "Take care of a good name" (Sir 41:12). This does not mean to rest in it, but that a Christian has to be such that, whoever hears or sees his life, may glorify God, as we usually do at the sight of a rose or a tree with fruit and shade. This is what the holy gospel commands: that our light might so shine before men that, seeing our good works, they may give glory to the heavenly Father (Mt 5:16) from whom all good proceeds. [...]

It requires a lot of virtue to possess something as if one did not have it. So too, it is extremely difficult to keep the honor others give us from cleaving to our hearts. Very few succeed in doing this.


Source: St. John of Avila, Audi, Filia, trans. by Joan Frances Gormley (New York, NY: Paulist Press, 2006), 1.4, 46-47.

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