Mutual respect and esteem building up Christ's Body rather than tearing at it (John Chrysostom)

We need to be at pains and striving always to build up the Body of Christ united in mutual love, respect and esteem…rather than tearing it down and most often to indulge and satisfy one’s ego and self image and hence a false centre around which I am revolving - i.e. self and my ego…rather than the humility and the gentle and submissive servant nature of Christ.


Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men, and in habit found as a man. 8 He humbled himself, becoming obedient unto death, even to the death of the cross. *


For all seek the things that are their own; not the things that are Jesus Christ’s. 22*

All too often I can justify my behaviour and tearing at others and hence The Body of Christ Himself as ‘doing God’s work’ in some way…and the sad part about it all is that I can actually believe that what I say and am doing are true and correct - hence I am spiritually blind to my own failure with a log in my own eye…and a splinter in the other’s eye.

The whole Chapter 2 from Paul to the Phillipians is worth the read recommending to us humility and unity - to strive for these…and to work out our own salvation in fear and trembling.
Respect and love of The Blessed Eucharist does not begin and end at the Church door or within the confines of Mass…it embraces our whole life and everything in it.


You have heard that it was said to them of old: Thou shalt not kill. And whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment. 22 But I say to you, that whosoever is angry with his brother, shall be in danger of the judgment. And whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council. And whosoever shall say, Thou Fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. 23 If therefore thou offer thy gift at the altar, and there thou remember that thy brother hath any thing against thee; 24 Leave there thy offering before the altar, and go first to be reconciled to thy brother: and then coming thou shalt offer thy gift. 25 Be at agreement with thy adversary betimes, whilst thou art in the way with him: lest perhaps the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. *

Extract only, read full text (not a long one) on above link…by: Saint John Chrysostom

…"Yes, I know we are within the same fold, under the same pastor. I weep all the more bitterly about it… For if you are peaceful and untroubled at the moment yet,

[quote] when you leave the church, this one is criticizing that one; one publicly insults another; one is consumed by envy, jealousy or avarice; another ponders revenge; yet another sensuality, duplicity or fraud…

Show respect, then, show respect to this holy table where we all receive communion together; show respect for Christ immolated on our behalf; show respect for the sacrifice offered on this altar in our midst…"


We all bring our little sacrifices to the same Holy Table but it is the one Sacrifice of the Lamb of God that gives our sacrifices the merit it needs to be acceptable to the Father. Since we all offer the same Sacrifice of ourselves in union with Christ then it follows that we should not attempt to defile it by uncharity and disrespect for our brothers and sisters.

Although this in no way defiles the Sacrifice, those who take part in the tearing of the Mystical Body of Christ make themselves share in the same act and consequences as the Romans soldiers who scourged Him. Let us all repent of our unwillingness to lose an argument and embrace one another with the Charity of Christ. For it is love that penetrates the heart of the sinner, not coercion, and draws us back to the Sacred Heart. It is also Love that infallibly points us in the direction of eternity.

Excellent insight and sharing…thank you very much:thumbsup: …and in particular this spoke to me:

Although this in no way defiles the Sacrifice,

[quote]those who take part in the tearing of the Mystical Body of Christ make themselves share in the same act and consequences as the Romans soldiers who scourged Him. Let us all repent of our unwillingness to lose an argument and embrace one another with the Charity of Christ.


Great post! thanks again…Blessings and regards…Barb:)

The Reading from tonight’s Evening Prayer in the Psalter has application to this thread - from the Letter of St. James, Chapter 4:


Detract not one another, my brethren. He that detracteth his brother,

or he that judgeth his brother, detracteth the law, and judgeth the law. But if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.

12 There is one lawgiver, and judge, that is able to destroy and to deliver. 13 But who art thou that judgest thy neighbour?

There is never a justification for attacking another person. If we went to mass this weekend we would have heard the Gospel’s call to fraternal correction, not attack.

The perfection of charity is the goal of the Christian life. Contrary to popular opinion, there is no charity in attacking someone because we believe that the person is in error. There are those who claim that they are saving someone’s soul and therefore are acting in charity. However, let’s look at it more closely.

Many of us have children. We have seen teachers who tell children that they are wrong or that they are not trying hard enough. We have seen many tell children that a task is easy, when the child is struggling with it. To the eye of the compassionate person this is nothing short of an attack on a person’s self-esteem and a denial of the struggles the child faces in accomplishing a task to achieve a desired result.

The Lord reminds us that if we receive one of these little ones in his name we receive him. Aren’t many of us like the child who struggles in school? Is everything that easy for everyone? Is it valid to say that someone does not understand because they are not trying? How charitable is it to say that someone is in error because they choose to be? How do we know for sure?

We make many gratuitous assumptions in treating those whom we believe to be in error is misled. Would we want God to make such gratuitous assumptions about us?

When Christ wined and dined with sinners, did he make gratuitous assumptions about them? When the saints went on mission, did they make gratuitous assumptions about those to whom they brought the good news of the Gospel?

It seems that gratuitous assumptions about another person’s ability to understand and appreciate what we know and believe do more harm to the body than good. The spirit of fraternal correction is lost and is replaced by judgement.

Maybe this is why St. Francis told his friars that they should correct one another and if the person refused to accept the correction they should leave well enough alone and pray for the individual, but continue to love him or her and welcome him. The perfection of the Gospel life is not about what we think of others, but what we do for the glory of the Body.


JR :slight_smile:

Thank you for the in put, JR. I totally agree with your comments…there is no excuse for attacking another’s person and I think there are ways of disagreeing which sticks to the point of disagreement and in an entirely courteous and caring sort of manner maintaining the prime bond of charity. Truth without charity can only ever be half the truth.

Blessings and regards…Barb:)

It is unfortunate that many times Christians think they are doing a heroic service to God by attacking the person who is in error rather than praying for that person and presenting truth in a non-confrontational manner. Confrontation normally ends up pushing people away from the truth instead of them having a conversion experience. Even if the person does eventually become aware as a result of the confrontation, the experience itself could delay that moment.

Love is patient, is kind; love does not envy, is not pretentious, is not puffed up, is not ambitious, is not self-seeking, is not provoked; thinks no evil, does not rejoice over wickedness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Cor. 13:4-7/QUOTE]

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Just wanted to bump this thread again since I’ve seen a lot of tearing at the Body of Christ in the forums lately.

One disturbing thing I’ve seen is comparing, or even complaining about Saints. Quoting Joysong on this topic in another thread:

I also see it in the way some belittle the spirituality and callings of others. I think we need to keep in mind St. Paul’s words:

The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” **On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. **And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.

1 Corinthians 12:21-27

Thanks for the bump, Becky.

I think it might be good to post Pope Pius XI’s actual words on this, since it is an official encyclical of the Church:

  1. …] If some dare to compare one with another the heavenly heroes of sanctity destined by the Holy Ghost each to his own special mission among men - these comparisons, the fruit for the most part of party passions, are valueless and are at the same time an insult to God, the author of sanctity -

Seldom do we realize that there is such a thing as “spiritual envy.” This can creep into our hearts through private veneration of certain saints, and some might believe that others’ devotions are not quite as fitting as one’s own if their saint doesn’t measure up. The devotion to a particular saint is inspired by the Holy Spirit for the purpose known to Him alone, and none of us should dare to interfere with His workings of grace by downplaying others’ graced attractions which may “seem to be” of lesser value.

Maybe the ones who most need to be reminded, will unfortunately fail to read this thread. :frowning:


This is the reason why I am reconsidering writing an article in the school newspaper speaking out against a hot-button social issue. Although I feel it would contribute to the spread of God’s word, I nonetheless realize it would probably lead to a self-elevation of the ego, an increase in pride, and would promote anger. It would also tear at the Body of Christ, rather than promote healing and peace.

Another vitally important thing that I think is worth mention:

When we pray we must pray for the conversion of the whole world, our family and friends, and the Church, but also for our own conversion. It is vital to remember that we don’t convert once, but are continually converted throughout our lives.

Hopefully that’s doctrinally correct…

Pope Benedict XVI spoke on this topic this past Sunday:

Pope cautions against destructive polemics in the church

The pope, speaking in German at his noon blessing Feb. 22, asked for prayers to St. Peter so that “disturbances and storms do not shake the church” and that Catholics remain united in faith and love.

Two days earlier, addressing students at Rome’s diocesan seminary, the pope recalled St. Paul’s admonition to Galatian Christians not to “go on biting and devouring one another” but instead to be guided by the Spirit.

“St. Paul refers here to the polemics that emerge where faith degenerates into intellectualism and humility is replaced by the arrogance of being better than the other,” the pope said.

“We see clearly that today, too, there are similar situations where, instead of joining in communion with Christ, in the body of Christ which is the church, each one wants to be superior to the other and with intellectual arrogance maintains that he is better,” he said.

“And in this way arise polemics that are destructive, and there arises a caricature of the church, which should have a single soul and a single heart,” he said.

‘“St. Paul refers here to the polemics that emerge where faith degenerates into intellectualism and humility is replaced by the arrogance of being better than the other,” the pope said.’

There is so much of that that goes on here.:frowning: So much “biting and devouring of one another” that at times I fear coming into even the Spirituality forum because of the contentiousness that can occur.

It’s going to be an interesting Lent for me as I work on keeping my own pride and judgments in check.


dear Barbara
Nice to see you after a long absence from me. i hope you are well. i thank you for posting that. i enjoyed reading it. i especially like the work out your salvation in fear and trembling bit. I’ve been thinking on this sort of topic today and felt fear and trembling I suppose. It’s been coming to mind how serious and how very real all this stuff about our faith is and more so the reality that I am going to be judged one day. It’s made me a bit fearful today. But the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. So maybe it’ll make me wiser. Anyway, it’s great to see you on here again. God bless:)

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