Thought of the day
7/10/2022 5:52:04 AM

Be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves



Everyone must be treated with respect, prudence and evangelical simplicity... The example of Jesus is more closely followed in the most appealing simplicity, not dissociated from the God-given prudence of wise and holy men. Wiseacres may show disrespect, if not scorn, for the simple man. But those wiseacres are of no account; even if their opinions and conduct inflict some humiliations, no notice should be taken of them at all: in the end everything ends in their defeat and confusion. The 'simple, upright, Godfearing man' is always the worthiest and the strongest. Naturally he must always be sustained by a wise and gracious prudence. He is a simple man who is not ashamed to profess the Gospel, even in the face of men who consider it to be nothing but weakness and childish nonsense, and to profess it entirely, on all occasions, and in the presence of all; he does not let himself be deceived or prejudiced by his fellows, nor does he lose his peace of mind, however they may treat him. The prudent man is he who knows how to keep silent about that part of the truth that it would be inopportune to declare, provided that this silence does not affect the truth he utters by gainsaying it; the man who knows how to achieve his own good purpose, choosing the most effective means of willing and doing...; who, in all circumstances, knows how to choose the middle way which presents fewer difficulties and dangers; the man who, looks to God alone, in whom he trusts, and this trust is the foundation of all he does. Simplicity contains nothing contrary to prudence, and the converse also is true. Simplicity is love: prudence is thought. Love prays: the intelligence keeps watch. 'Watch and pray' (Mt 26,41): a perfect harmony. Love is like the cooing dove; the active intelligence is like the snake that never falls to the ground or bruises itself, because before it glides along it first probes with its head to test the unevenness of the ground.