A Reading from St. Augustine (Sermon 357, 4)
Are you a lover of peace? Be still there in your heart with your beloved.
“And what am I to do?” There is plenty you can do. Put a stop to wrangling; turn to prayer. Don’t repel with abuse people who are showering you with abuse, but pray for them. You want to speak against them; instead speak to God for them. I’m not telling you to keep quiet, but rather to choose carefully where you speak, in whose presence you speak. While keeping quiet, your lips shut tight, your heart is crying out loudly. Where those people can’t see you, that’s where you must be a good friend on their behalf.
But you can give this kind of peaceable answer to one who doesn’t love peace and wants to pick a quarrel: “Whatever you may wish to say, however much you hate me, detest me as you please, you are still my brother or my sister. What can you do in order not to be my brother or sister? Whether you’re good or bad, whether you like it or not, inescapably you are my brother or sister.”
And he or she says, “How am I your brother or your sister, my foe, my enemy?” “By the very fact of your saying this, you are my brother or my sister.”