On the Good and Peaceful Man
Firstly, be peaceful yourself, and you will be able to bring peace to others. A man of peace does more good than a very learned man. A passionate man turns even good into evil, and readily listens to evil; but a good and peaceable man turns all things to good. He who is truly at peace thinks evil of no one; but he who is discontented and restless is tormented by suspicions beyond number. He has no peace in himself, nor will he allow others any peace. He often says what he ought not to say, and leaves undone what he should have done. He takes note how other people carry out their duties, but neglects his own. Therefore, before all else, attend diligently to your own affairs; then you may properly be concerned for your neighbor also.
You readily excuse and explain your own doings, but you will not accept the explanations of others. It would be more just to accuse yourself, and to excuse your fellows. If you wish others to bear with you, you must bear with them (Gal.6:2; I Cor.13:7; Eph. 4:2). See how far you still are from true charity and humility, which feels neither anger nor indignation towards any save itself. It is no great matter to associate with the good and gentle, for this is naturally pleasant to everyone. All men are glad to live at peace, and prefer those who are of their own way of thinking. But to be able to live at peace among hard, obstinate, and undisciplined people and those who oppose us, is a great grace, and a most commendable and manly achievement.
There are some who remain at peace with themselves and also with others (Rom.12:18; 2 Cor.13:2) And some neither have peace in themselves nor allow others to have peace. Such people are a trouble to others, and an even greater trouble to themselves. And there are some who are at peace with themselves, and who try to guide others into peace. But all our peace in this present life should depend on humble forbearance rather than on absence of adversity. He who knows the secret of endurance will enjoy the greatest peace. Such a one is conqueror of self, master of the world, a friend of Christ, and an heir of Heaven.
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