Recently I have been experiencing a bit of sadness. At first I thought it to be merely transitory, but after about two weeks it hasn't quite subsided. Although it pains me to be in this state I have been enjoying it as it has been teaching me a great deal about some personal issues. Last night I tried to pinpoint the reason behind this feeling. The only thing that remotely sang to me was a deep disappointment in someone I have viewed as my mentor. I myself believe and have taught my students that although we may admire someone and learn from them, we must remember that each mentor is a human, and has human failings. Although, of late, this view has not served in helping me to be more understanding. However, because of this I picked up the book "On the Imitation of Christ" by Thomas Kempis and was grateful to learn a much deeper lesson concerning the judgement of others. In the second chapter it states...
"If you should see another openly sin or commit some heinous offense, you ought not to esteem yourself the better; for you know not how long you should remain in good standing. All of us are frail, but you ought not think anyone more frail than yourself"
I feel ashamed to admit that so late in life did I realize the reason behind the wrongdoing of judging another. It is not merely because it is the Lord's place alone to make such decrees, but it is an inflation of the ego, of pride. Many a Saint hath said that this one sin is the mother of all sins. We are placing our self in a higher position than another so that we may judge him. One could even say that in essence we try to make ourselves as God when we judge another, since this is His role alone. Is this not how we came to further ourselves from Him in the first place; our feeble attempt to have the knowledge and power that he does?
"Vanity of vanities....all is vanity!" We may think often about our attachment to material things, but what of our attachment to things we think are holy but are not? If the action or thought is not bringing us one step closer to the Lord, than it is vanity, and is only there to inflate our sense of self. The true meaning of sin is not a wrongdoing, but instead means to "miss the mark", thus anything we do that does not bring us closer to God and true happiness is sin. We may justify our negative feelings towards another as a lesson learned for our self, and it may be, surely we should learn from the mistakes of others. But pride acts as a wolf in sheep's clothing letting us dwell on the feeling for too long until we become angry and let someone else's failings turn us away from the Light. Many even turn against thier vows that they made to thier mighty and secret soul's under the guise of another's sins...but it is not them who hath turned us away, it was our own vanity.
So, I leave you with this...think not about what another man does, but about what you do or do not do for the Lord. Let your Light be so bright that it thus brings forth the multitudes to serve Him out of inspiration. And seek not to be given credit for this as all is only possible in God.