A Year with the Saints – 28 November


Ah! when shall we see ourselves steeped in sweetness and suavity towards our neighbors! When shall we see their souls in the sacred bosom of Jesus! Whoever looks upon his neighbor in any other position, runs a risk of loving him neither purely nor perseveringly, nor impartially; but in such a place, who would not love him? Who would not bear with him? Who would not be patient with his imperfections? Who would consider him an object of dislike? Now, our neighbor is truly there in the bosom and within the heart of the Divine Saviour. He is there as one most beloved and altogether amiable, so that the loving Lord dies from pure love of him. – Saint Francis de Sales

This was the principal reason why this holy prelate was so mild, so tender, so respectful, so patient, to everyone – because he saw them all in the heart of Jesus. He manifested this one day when Monsignor di Bellei, his penitent, complained to him of the great respect he showed him. “What respect,” he answered, “do you show Jesus Christ, whom I honor in your person?” It was one of the chief maxims of Saint Vincent de Paul not to regard his neighbor according to exterior appearance, but as he was in the sight of God. “I must not regard,” he said, “a poor peasant or country girl as to their exterior or their natural gifts, for often one can hardly recognize in them any resemblance to a rational creature, so rude and earthly are they! But when we look upon them with the eye of Faith, we shall find them so deeply graven on the heart of the Son of God, that He even gave His life for each of them. How desirable it is to view our neighbor in God Himself, that we may make the account of him which Christ our Lord made!”

MLA Citation