In today's first reading from the prophet Jeremiah, we hear a harsh report about the Lord's chosen people: "This is the nation that does not listen to the voice of the Lord, its God, or take correction." Accepting correction graciously is a challenge for anyone. It can be very difficult to listen to someone delineate our faults accurately and it is even more difficult if we perceive that the correction is unmerited. Be it an accurate or inaccurate reproof, the Lord will bless us for listening patiently to one who seeks to correct us. If a correction is issued kindly as a gesture of love it is much easier to try to accept it graciously -- a grace in itself! Though we should be slow to correct our neighbors, let us pray for the grace to accept correction in a spirit of gratitude.
"It seems a great thing when we accept correction from our Superiors. But from equals, one cannot bear it: the heart swells and reacts because this one who is my equal has no authority to admonish me . . . . it is here that we find one of the principal points of humility and perfection of the Christian life."
St. Francis de Sales