Franciscan Spirit Blog

Lent with St. Francis: Don’t Compare, Don’t Judge

Monday of the Second Week of Lent

Daniel 9:4b–10;
Psalm 79:8, 9, 11, 13;
Luke 6:36–38

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you.” —Luke 6:37–38

Jesus reserved his harshest words in the Gospels for those who thought they were spiritually superior to others. Francis, too, recognized that this failing threatened those who had given up everything to follow him in his Gospel commitment to a life of poverty, prayer, and penance.

He emphasized to his followers that they were to examine their own lives rather than pointing  fingers at others. He said in his Rule of 1223: “I warn all the friars and exhort them not to condemn or look down on people whom they see wearing soft or gaudy clothes and enjoying luxuries in food or drink; each one should rather condemn and despise himself.”

We will always encounter people who are better than we are and worse than we are on nearly every human, social, and spiritual level. If we begin making comparisons, soon we will be making judgments, about them and about ourselves. In doing so, we quickly lose sight of who we are: unique individuals created and loved by God for ourselves, not on some cosmic grading curve.


Where there is Poverty and Joy, there is neither
Cupidity nor Avarice.
Where there is Peace and Contemplation, there is
neither Care nor Restlessness.

God's Love Song

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