Given the great and growing number of spineless degenerates who go by the name of Catholic or Christian today, who are blindly driven by the false political correctness around us, I thought it’s worth posting the issue on the necessity to overcome false human respect as taken from the imitation of Christ:
WE SHOULD OVERCOME ALL HUMAN RESPECT – Chapter X – The Imitation of Christ.
1. The voice of Jesus.—–Behold! My Child, the Magi had come from the East: and, entering the Cave, they found Me, an Infant, with Mary, My Virgin Mother.
Observe My Heart, and imitate Its disposition. Such as It was in the presence of My Own, such It is before strangers; as It was before shepherds of the lowest estate, so It is before Magi of the highest rank: I was not ashamed of the lowliness of My Birth, the obscurity of My condition, the practice of every virtue.
In this, My Heart does not regard the judgments of men, but, setting aside human respect, It pursues the things that please My Father.
2. Happy he, that imitates this fortitude of My Heart; that, with his heart undaunted, overcomes human respect!
For as My heavenly Father confessed Me, because I confessed Him; so, whosoever shall confess Me before men, him also will I confess before My Father.
But woe to him, that shall be ashamed before men of Me, of My teaching, of My example! Of him will I also be ashamed before My Father, the Angels, and men themselves, when I shall come in Majesty to judge.
3. What fearest thou, O man? Does not reason itself tell thee, that honor is due to virtue, dishonor to vice? why then dost thou dread to practice virtue, as if thou thoughtest it a disgrace?
Behold! beside God, none witness thy actions except Angels and men. Now, pray then, which of these shouldst thou mind?
The good Angels—–if thou boldly avowest thyself My servant—–will joyfully extol thy greatness of soul, and pray for the continuance of thy fortitude. And men, as well as the Saints in Heaven, as the wise and good upon earth, feeling similarly disposed in thy regard, will act in like manner.
Yea, the reprobate Angels, and foolish and wicked men, will admire thee, at least inwardly, in spite of themselves, although outwardly they speak against thee, to hide their own faint-heartedness and cowardice. Oughtest thou to heed the false judgments and idle talk of these? Wouldst thou be reckoned among these, and become a partaker of their lot?
Were all men to talk about thee, wouldst thou be different from what thou art? Thou art just what thou art before Me, My Child; nor can the tongues of all creatures make thee greater or smaller.
4. Who is he that can be pleasing to all? None; neither could I Myself obtain this. Do not, then, attempt what is impossible.
Strive to please Me, as much as thou art able; and, in this holy endeavor, care not for what the world may think concerning thee.
If thou art still guided by a regard for men; it is plain that thou hast not yet learnt humility and charity of My Heart.
Whosoever is humble of heart, and impelled by Divine love, desires not to please men; nor fears he to displease them, when he cannot otherwise satisfy Me.
Neither stands he in dread of the judgments and scoffs of the world, but he keeps his countenance, and goes his way; and, if My honor requires it, he utters his opinion with a holy freedom.
He does nothing that he may be seen, he omits nothing through fear of being seen: he cares naught whether he be praised or blamed by a foolish world; whether he be esteemed much or little.
The world is for him, as if it were not: Me alone he has in view, since he knows that to Me everything is due; to Me he loves to refer all, by whom alone he can and will be approved and rewarded as he deserves.
But it is no wonder, that whosoever gratifies pride and self-love, becomes the slave of human respect.
For surely none is more a slave, than he that is swayed by human respect; since he has as many masters, as he sees men.
Meanwhile such a one will do nothing worthy of Me—–worthy of his own perfection.
5. My Child, wheresoever thou mayst be, whether living in the world, or secluded from the world, beware of human respect. This vice is met everywhere, not only among people of the world, but even among religious: from the world it enters into the sanctuary, and there it stands an abomination in the Holy of Holies.
Many, deceiving themselves, under the semblance of charity or prudence, yield to human respect: and were they to look properly into themselves, they would discover, that it is not the virtue of charity or prudence, but the vail of timid pride and self-love.
The voice of the Disciple.—–Yet, Lord, is it proper always and everywhere, publicly to proclaim virtue, and to profess it openly? If so, I pray Thee, how is this to be done? if not, what rule should be followed?
The voice of Jesus.—–Sometimes, My Child, it is not expedient rashly to expose piety; but never and nowhere is it allowed to betray piety.
In the practice of virtue, it is a sure and safe rule, to consider not one’s own, but the Divine honor; not to neglect the open profession of virtue, simply to avoid thy own confusion; but to omit its open profession, when My honor or glory might suffer in consequence.
6. In general, My Child, in whatever place thou mayst be, if, inasmuch as this rule allows, thou beginnest at once openly to practice virtue, it will not only give Me great honor, but also prove very advantageous to thyself. For thus the good and the wicked, as well as the fervent and the lukewarm, shall know thee; the first will seek thy company, and sustain thee: the last will let thee alone, and not ensnare thee.
If any there be who do find fault with thy conscientiously free and noble-souled deportment, be not, therefore, troubled or cast down; but call to mind, that if, to the in jury of thy conscience, thou didst still seek to please men, thou shouldst not be the servant of God, nor a Disciple of My Heart.
Besides, what would it avail, to be blamed by none, and to be pleasing to all? Couldst thou in the end be defended by mortal man, when I will be thy Judge? or couldst thou be saved, whilst I condemn thee?
What will be the feelings, after death, before Me, their Judge, of those cowardly souls, that, through human respect, placed during life the opinions of a foolish world before My judgments, and betrayed My cause?
Alas! how many reprobates has human respect made, whose lot, had they spurned it, should now be among the Saints!
7. Believe me, Child, it is every way better to regard My judgments, rather than those of men: if thou art pleasing to Me, that is enough for thee; to please men alone, is simple vanity, mere mockery.
Cheer up thy courage, My Child, look down upon the false sayings of men, that fly through the air, and only reach those who grasp them for themselves.
If thou dost once fully learn to raise thyself above every human respect, thou wilt hardly be again annoyed by it, and, thyself consistent, thou wilt pity the madness of the world, and the silliness of men, who suffer themselves, in so slavish a manner, to be dragged to destruction.
And when thou hast come to this, that thou art no longer moved by any human respect, then, freed from a very great hindrance to salvation and perfection, thou shalt safely advance in the way of virtue.
8. The voice of the Disciple.—–How true, how holy a doctrine Thou teachest, good Master, sweet Jesus! Help me, I entreat Thee, to reduce it to practice.
I am justly ashamed, Lord, of my past cowardice, my faint-heartedness. Often did I blush or fear to do what my heart approved as good and worthy of honor: on the other hand, I did not blush to give way to human respect, which it acknowledged to be evil and unbecoming.
From a base fear of men’s opinions, I have frequently betrayed Thy interests and Thy holy service, and thus rendered myself deserving of great shame and punishment.
Have mercy on me, my God, and forgive my offenses, whereby, through human respect, I have turned away from Thy Will, and chosen rather, despite my conscience, to follow the opinion of the world.
But now, mercifully recalled and taught by Thee, behold! I am resolved to follow Thee, the sole guide to eternal blessedness.
Let worldlings continue to call good, evil, and evil, good: let them still estimate honor by the changeable and worthless opinion of deluded men: let them still feed on vanity; from Thee I know, and hold with certainty, that to cleave to Thee, is unchangeably good; that to follow Thee, is truly honorable; that to enjoy Thee, most sweet Jesus, the fountain of life and of all good things, does really constitute bliss.