Last evening I was with some brother priests and we were bantering back and forth about what time we wake up to begin our days. Recently I also have been getting some input from another brother priest about the need to make sure I have some down time each week to rest and recuperate a little bit. This, combined with the feast of today, St Bartholomew, has made me really think about fraternal correction, both being the recipient, but also being able to give fraternal correction. I have been praying about this, and I was doing some looking online to see what I could find.
What does scripture say? What do the Saints say? What does the Catechism say? This can get tricky especially when it involves those we love and are close to us. This, I think the first thing we need to do is pray, do penance, and go to confession ourselves. Each of us is a sinner, and if we want to change the world, we have to begin at home in our very own souls.
I struggle with this aspect of following Christ because I am a sinner. Most especially, how to correct those close to me whom I see following a path that is not directed toward God.
Due to the fact that pride gets involved, receiving fraternal correction can also be a challenge! How the Apostles often were corrected by our Lord and one another!
I think of the great Saints, and today, St Bartholomew, one of the twelve apostles, and their heroic courage in this regard.
Tradition has it he was skinned alive. If he could do that for the Faith, then surely we can live this practice of fraternal correction.
I was googling fraternal correction in the Catechism, and I found this excellent article. Maybe it will be helpful for you my readers as it is for me. It is a PDF, so I am including a hyperlink to the PDF. Let us keep praying for each other!