From the Moral
Reflections on Job by Saint Gregory the Great
The law of the Lord
ove’s lively concern for
others is reflected in all the virtues. It begins with two commands, but it soon
embraces many more. Saint Paul gives a good summary of its various aspects. Love is
patient, he says, and kind; it is never jealous or conceited; its conduct is
blameless; it is not ambitious, not selfish, not quick to take offense; it harbours
no evil thoughts, does not gloat over other people’s sins, but is gladdened by an
Those ruled by this love show
their patience by bearing wrongs with equanimity; their kindness by generously repaying good
for evil. Jealousy is foreign to them. It is impossible to envy worldly success when they
have no worldly desires. They are not conceited. The prizes they covet lie within; outward
blessings do not elate them. Their conduct is blameless, for they cannot do wrong in devoting
themselves entirely to love of God and their neighbours. They are not ambitious. The welfare of
their own souls is what they care about. Apart from that they seek nothing. They are not selfish.
Indeed, in their eyes nothing is their own but what will be so always. They are not
quick to take offence. Even under provocation, thought of revenge never becomes action.
The reward they seek hereafter will be greater in proportion to their endurance. They harbour
no evil thoughts. Hatred is utterly rooted out of a heart whose only love is goodness.
Thoughts that defile others can find no acceptence. They doe not gloat over other people’s sins.
No; an enemy’s fall affords them no delight, for loving all men, they long for their
On the other hand, they are gladdened by an
upright life. Since they loves others as themselves, they take as much pleasure in whatever
good they see in others as if the progress were their own.
Saint Gregory the Great,
(Office of Readings, Thursday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time