Here is an extract on respecting others from the Diving deeper into the divine workshop for you to reflect on:

Strangely enough, the first friend we have to make is ourselves. Friendship assumes mutual respect, and unless we respect ourselves, we can’t very well respect others. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” This self-respect comes at the daily price of struggling against the “old man” or “old woman” we all bear inside us, the “flesh” that constantly tries to pull us down. Our “better self” has to fight on hundreds of fronts to stay in control every day. Perhaps this is the hardest part of all. It is a daily struggle just to get control of ourselves in one thing or another. Healthy self-respect, however, does not mean we’re conceited or proud. Quite the contrary, self-respect means precisely that since we know we’re weak, we’re determined to fight against our weaknesses and inclinations in all the commitments that form part of our daily life. In this area, as long as we act with common sense and supernatural sense, it would be hard to go too far. On the contrary, it is a fundamental part of the path to holiness.

I don’t mind saying this often: Make sure that, without doing anything maudlin, your affection for one another grows continually. Anything that affects another of my children must – genuinely – be of great concern for us. (St Josemaria, quoted by Blessed Alvaro in Family Letters (1), 115)

For those who lived with St Josemaria, what they especially remember is his affection. This was an affection that led him to try to obtain the best for each of his daughters and sons, and at the same time impelled him to have deep love for their freedom.

Fraternal affection, which is charity, leads us on the one hand to see others through Christ’s eyes, always rediscovering their value. And on the other hand it impels us to want them to be better and holier. St Josemaria encouraged us:

Always have a very big heart for loving God and for loving others. I often ask our Lord to give me a heart to the measure of his. I do this, in the first place, to be more full of him, and then to love everyone without ever complaining. I am able to be understanding and forgive other people’s defects because I cannot forget how much God has put up with from me. This understanding, which is true affection, is also shown in fraternal correction, whenever necessary, because it is a totally supernatural way of helping the people around us. (St Josemaria at a family gathering in October 1972)

Fraternal correction is born of affection; it shows that we want the others to be happier all the time. Sometimes it can be hard to do, and that is another reason we are grateful for it.

Our personal happiness does not depend on the successes we achieve, but rather on the love we receive and the love we give.

Pin It on Pinterest

X