Courtesy is an extension of charity and therefore is a Christian virtue.
Who is truly polite is courteous to all without distinction; polite equally to a beggar as to a king. It is a way of acting which God has commanded of all His children.
To say that courtesy is a Christian virtue is not to say that a pagan is never polite, but Christian politeness is different because it is done for love of neighbour and love of God.
Love is not ambitious for itself, but for the welfare of others.
Ambition based on self-interest is without love, for it would have success at the expense of others. A work without love is dead. The humblest work of love has life.
THE MEASURE OF A MAN
The measure of a man is not the measure of what he has, but rather of what he gives. That which a man keeps, he loses, for in death he can't take it with him. That which he gives, if given with love is kept forever, for he takes it with him into life everlasting, as testimony of his love.
That we might seek it and possess it, only that we might better and more effectively serve our own needs and those of the whole human family together. That poor in spirit, we might gain it without offence to charity or injury to others and direct it always in the spirit of love.
POOR IN SPIRIT
To be poor in spirit is not to love, seek or covet things as ends in themselves or for their own sake; but rather to respect them for the service they can perform for self and for others.
To be poor in spirit is to be prepared to lose all, desiring nonetheless, to serve God and man with the same love, whether rich or poor. Love alone matters.
GRATITUDE FOR WHAT WE HAVE
It is necessary that we reflect on what it would mean to have no possessions and, never losing faith, to be prepared to have none. Then to think of the things we have, however humble, and to be always thankful for them.
Sin is an offence against goodness, charity and love; against God, Who is love, and "Who alone is Good." (1 John 4:8; Matthew 19:17) This is why all men are called sinners, (Romans 3:23) because all men offend goodness, charity and love in some way. Even the just are said to offend. (Proverbs 24:16) Nevertheless, we must all strive to "be perfect as our Heavenly Father is perfect," (Matthew 5:48) remembering, "who perseveres to the end will be saved." (Matthew 24:13)
Those who seek and use violence have failed to discover the wonder and power of love, and so seek their ends through the power of violence and hate. The end of violence is death whereas the way of love leads to life.
Who cannot bring about change peacefully, should not force his will. He does not win others to his way, but heaps another problem to himself, that of winning back the respect of those he has offended. Pride for ones own way forgets there are many ways to the solution of most problems, and zeal misplaced can injure many.
YOU ARE UNIQUE
Each person has their own unique capacity for sharing his experience of love, for performing service - of contributing to the common good. If he does not share it, then all men are the poorer. All men are poorer by just that amount of good that each person fails to do.
ALL MEN TEACH
All men are instinctively imitators. All imitate to degrees small and great. The importance of the word and the action of each person is thus apparent. It is immense. Each word, each action is open to imitation by the young and by the old. In this way all men teach. As a man speaks and acts, so does he teach for good or ill, aware of it or no.
"Who has the substance of this world, and shall shut up his heart from his brother in need, how shall the love of Christ live in him?" (1 John 3:17)
"God will not have silver Crucifixes and starving stomachs; and the Church is best adorned with the gems of holiness and the fine gold of brotherly love," voiced George Eliot in her book 'Romola'.
This latter was not written to tear down those necessary edifices and practices which have been built up with love and sacrifice to foster and sustain the common faith, but rather that it might be more clearly seen, that the things we cannot see are of greater substance than the things of substance that we do see.
"To him who loves goodness, all is gain," (Romans 8:28) and so evil, too, is gain to him. He uses evil, knowing it to be the opposite of the good he is always seeking.
Curiously, it is only through the loss of goodness, and experience of the pain resulting from its absence, that we come to know and appreciate what goodness really means to us; its desirability, its pricelessness, its real value and necessity for our well-being; from there to love it, and to seek it alone. In seeking goodness, the Scripture teaches, we are really seeking God, "Who alone is good." (Matthew 19:17) This is why God permits evil, (see 1 John 9:1-3) that we might be drawn freely to seek Him, to know Him and to love Him.
GOOD AND EVIL : LIFE AND DEATH
The wrestle with good and evil; there are none unscathed. All men are to learn and know good and evil, in and through life's experiences. Through constant contact and conflict, each is to know them, to know their causes and their effects. Through this experience knowledge comes. It matters not, in particular, how it comes; it will come. It will come to every man. Evil will ensnare. Evil will cast down. Then with knowledge of evil and the implanted love for good in the soul, each will make his choice. Each will thus come to choose to love and to serve either good or evil, life or death. Both may not be served. So, life and death, good and evil are constantly before man and constantly he chooses. His choice will be his prize. (Ecclesiasticus 15:14-18)
TEMPTATION TO DO EVIL
"Do not resist evil..." (Matthew 5:39) Do not enter into conflict with it. Do so, and it will surely overcome you. Resist the temptation to do evil and it will have no power over you. (James 4:7)
Temptation is a wind fanned by the fire of something desirable, but forbidden. It is the wind that tests. It is the wind that proves our love for good or our love for evil. It would have us bend and yield before its power, and do that which mind, heart, reason and conscience all reject as being contrary to what is truly right and good. Thus is a man proven. Many are good, finding it easy until the test comes, then to find themselves quickly broken.
So, a man must keep himself constantly armed to resist temptation. He must pray always. He must moderate himself in all things. He must, from his heart, learn to love and seek and do only that which is right, good, just and true. In all of his ways, he must be mindful of God's ever-presence. Unless he do these things, he is in grave danger of inheriting the fruits of temptation, namely: guilt, remorse and everlasting despair. (See 2 Peter 2:4-22)
EVERY BELIEVER EXPERIENCES THE NEED TO SAY WITH DANIEL THE PROPHET
"The most high God has wrought signs and wonders to me. It has seemed good to me, therefore, to publish His signs, because they are great, and His wonders because they are mighty: and His Kingdom is an everlasting Kingdom, and His power is to all generations." (Daniel 3:99-100)
"He that believes in the Son of God, has the testimony of God in Himself.......and the testimony of God is that He has given to us eternal life. This life is in His Son. Who has the Son has life. He who has not the Son, has not life." (1 John 5:10-12) "Now is the acceptable time. Today is the day of salvation." (2 Corinthians 6:2)