Will you help a brother in need?
27. "E.r said to me: 'Hold fast to integrity and be innocent; then you will be like children who do not know the evil that corrupts people's lives. First of all, do not slander anyone, and do not listen to a slanderer with pleasure! But if you do, you too, the listener, will be guilty of the sin of slander if you believe the slander which you hear; because if you believe her, you too will have something against your brother yourself. And so you will be guilty of the sin of the slanderer. Evil is slander, a demon who does not give rest, never joins peace, but can always be found in arguments. Stay away from her, then you will always live in peace with everyone. Rather, surrender to holiness, which does not cause nuisance, but rather brings calm and joy. - Do good and give of the (yield) of the work that God gives you to all those in need without hesitation, and without hesitating to whom you should and whom you should not give. Give to everyone; for God wants his gifts to be given to all. And the recipients will have to give an account before God why and for what they received: The ones who received in a distressed situation will not be judged; but the others who received in hypocritical (need) will have to suffer punishment. The giver is therefore (at least) without guilt; for as he received the work from the Lord for execution, he accomplished it without hesitation, and without judging to whom to give and to whom not. And so this achievement, because he performed it with integrity, brought him glory before God. Whoever does such honest service will have life with God. Now keep this commandment, just as I have told you, that the repentance of yours and yours may be purer and that your heart may be found pure and unsullied."
28. "WAgain he said to me: `` Love the truth and let nothing but truth come out of your mouth, so that the spirit that God has made dwell in this fleshly body may be shown to be truthful in all people. Thus the Lord will be glorified who dwells in you; for the Lord is true in every word, and there is no lie with him. People who lie therefore deprive the Lord of his rights and become robbers of the Lord because they do not restore him the goods they have been entrusted with. For they received from him a spirit that is alien to lies. If they return this tainted by lying, they have defiled the commandment of the Lord and have become robbers. When I heard this, I began to weep bitterly. But when he saw me crying he asked: `` Why are you crying? '' `` Lord, '' I said, `` because I don't know whether I can be saved. '' `` Why? '' He asked. `` Lord, '' I said, `` I have never said a true word in my life, but have always lived like a deceiver and in dealings with everyone and have presented my lies to everyone as the truth. But no one has ever contradicted me, they believed my word. How can I now, Lord, so I said, `` to come to (eternal) life, having done this? '' `` You think, '' he replied, `` right and true. As a servant of God you must indeed walk in the truth, and you must not let your guilty conscience dwell with the spirit of truth, nor deceive the holy and true spirit. '' Never, 'I said, `` Have I experienced these things correctly, sir? '' `` So this is how you hear them now, '' he said; Pay attention to them so that the lies that you used to speak in your business dealings will also become believable if this (what you are talking now) turns out to be true. Because that other can also be credible. If you pay attention to this and speak the truth from now on, then you can acquire your life. And everyone who hears this commandment and abstains from the horrible lie will have life with God."
Hermas, The shepherd, Mand. II, 27 Mand. III, 28.
Published by the Pontifical Theological Faculty `` Marianum ''
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