Charity – Twenty-Third Day of November
“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart. This is the greatest and the first commandment,
and the second is like to this: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” — St. Matt. 22:38
We must be full of compassion for sinners. He who has no compassion for them, and has no charity in their regard, does not deserve that God will have mercy upon him. — St. Vincent de Paul.
This saint was never surprised at the faults into which people fell. “It belongs to man to sin,” he said, “because he was conceived and born in sin.” This knowledge of the great misery of man made him compassionate to sinners and full of sweetness in trying to convert them.
St. Francis of Sales had so great a tenderness for sinners that he sometimes said: “I love wicked men, God alone loves them more than I.” He sought every occasion to convert them, and it was for him a source of joy when they came to his feet to confess their iniquities. He wept over them, touched at the deplorable state of their souls. Rarely could they resist his exhortations, accompanied as they were with that unction of grace which his fervent prayers drew down upon them.
A great sinner, who was confessing his sins as if it were a history he was relating, was surprised to see the saint weeping. “Why do you weep, Father?” he asked. “I weep because you do not,” replied the saint. Those words, accompanied by so much fatherly love, touched the heart of the sinner, and sentiments of contrition penetrated his soul.
My God, give me a great love for sinners. It is to call sinners that Our Saviour came. Can I not love those whom He loved? Give me a love for them, that I may be full of zeal for their conversion.