Learning to see the good in others

Charity enlarges the heart so that all men fit in it, even those who do not understand us or do not correspond to our love. With the Lord we will not feel that we are enemies of anyone. With him we will learn not to judge the intimate intentions of others.

We perceive in others only a few external manifestations, which often hide the true motives of their actions. Even if you see something wrong, do not judge your neighbor immediately," advises St. Bernard, "but rather excuse him within yourself. Exculpate the intention, if you cannot excuse the action. Think that he may have done it out of ignorance, or surprise, or weakness. If the thing is so clear that you cannot conceal it, even then try to believe it so, and say to yourself: the temptation must have been very strong".

How many mistakes we make in the little frictions of daily coexistence! Many of them are due to the fact that we let ourselves be carried away by reckless judgments or suspicions. How many family divisions would become attentions if we saw that that bad detail, that inopportunity, was due to the tiredness of that person after a long and difficult day! Besides, "as long as you interpret with bad faith the intentions of others, you have no right to demand understanding for yourself".

Understanding inclines us to be kindly open towards others, to look at them with sympathy; it reaches the depths of the heart and knows how to find the part of goodness that is always in everyone.

Only those who are humble are capable of understanding. Otherwise, the smallest faults of others are magnified, and one tends to diminish and justify one's own greater faults and errors. Pride is like those curved mirrors that distort the true reality of things.

Whoever is humble is objective, and can then live in respect and understanding with others: it is easy to make excuses for the defects of others. The humble person is not scandalized by them. "There is no sin," writes St. Augustine, "no crime committed by another man that I am not capable of committing by reason of my frailty, and if I have not yet committed it, it is because God, in his mercy, has not permitted it and has preserved me in the good. Moreover, "we will also learn to discover so many virtues in those around us - they give us lessons in work, self-denial, joy... - and we will not dwell too much on their defects; only when it is indispensable, to help them with fraternal correction".

Our Lady will teach us, if we ask her, to know how to apologize - in Cana, Our Lady does not criticize the fact that the wine has run out, but helps to remedy its lack -, and to strive in our personal life in those same virtues that, at times, we may find lacking in others. Then we will be in an excellent position to be able to help them.