Desire for the perfection of our neighbour is, doubtless, very good; the pain that is felt interiorly 202at the sight of his defects is good also, provided it proceeds from a pure desire for his perfection, But with all this there must needs be mingled much secret self-complacency, confidence in ones own superior light, and severity towards ones neighbour. Zeal such as this cannot, you must well understand, come from God; it is an illusion of the devil, hurtful to yourself and to others.
In the second place I command you never to speak of God, or of anything good, unless in a spirit of humility and meekness, in an amiable and gracious manner, with moderation and 203encouragement, and never with bitterness and severity, or in a way to wound and repel those who hear you, because, although you may only say what is in the Gospel and in the best books, I believe that in your present state of mind you might say it very badly and in such a way as only to do harm.
If you have nothing kind to say keep silent, and leave the care of deciding to others. They can avoid better than you too much laxness, and will be exact without being severe. If exactitude be praiseworthy, severity is blamable, it does nothing but revolt people instead of convincing them, and embitter their souls instead of gaining them. As much as true meekness, with the help of God, has power to repel evil and to win to good, so much has an excessive harshness power to make goodness difficult and evil incurable. The first is edifying, the latter, destructive.
Thank you for posting that.
What does that have to do with what I posted? All i can think of is that you think that I go up to people and ask them how it is they don’t have more children? I don’t get it.