Editor's note:

One of the quickest and least pleasant ways of forming a sense of humility is to be corrected in our errors by a brother or sister. Clement of Rome reminds us of the necessity, though, of loving correction within the Christian community so that we all may better conform to the perfect will of God.

—Renovaré Team

Let us then also pray for those who have fallen into any sin, that meekness and humility may be given to them, so that they may submit, not unto us, but to the will of God. For in this way they shall secure a fruitful and perfect remembrance from us, with sympathy for them, both in our prayers to God, and our mention of them to the saints. Let us receive correction, beloved, on account of which no one should feel displeased. 

Those exhortations by which we admonish one another are both good [in themselves] and highly profitable, for they tend to unite us to the will of God. For thus saith the holy Word: 

“The Lord hath severely chastened me, yet hath not given me over to death” (Psalm 118:18). 

“For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth” (Hebrews 12:6).

“The righteous,” saith it, “shall chasten me in mercy, and reprove me; but let not the oil of sinners make fat my head” (Psalm 141:5).

 And again he saith, “Blessed is the man whom the Lord reproveth, and reject not thou the warning of the Almighty. For He causes sorrow, and again restores [to gladness]; He woundeth, and His hands make whole. He shall deliver thee in six troubles, yea, in the seventh no evil shall touch thee. In famine He shall rescue thee from death, and in war He shall free thee from the power of the sword. From the scourge of the tongue will He hide thee, and thou shalt not fear when evil cometh. Thou shalt laugh at the unrighteous and the wicked, and shalt not be afraid of the beasts of the field. For the wild beasts shall be at peace with thee: then shalt thou know that thy house shall be in peace, and the habitation of thy tabernacle shall not fail? Thou shall know also that thy seed shall be great, and thy children like the grass of the field. And thou shall come to the grave like ripened corn which is reaped in its season, or like a heap of the threshing-floor which is gathered together at the proper time” (Job 5:17-26). 

Ye see, beloved, that protection is afforded to those that are chastened of the Lord; for since God is good, He corrects us, that we may be admonished by His holy chastisement.

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Excerpted from Clement’s first letter to the Corinthians (Chap. LVI. Let us admonish and correct one another), via the EWTN Library.