The truly good person is one who complies with the laws of justice, love and charity in their highest degree of purity. If they examine their conscience concerning their own actions they will ask themselves if they have violated those laws, if they have practiced any evil, if they have done all the good that was possible, if they have voluntarily disregarded any occasion to be useful, if anyone has any complaint to make of them and finally, if they have done to others everything that they would wish done to themselves. They deposit their faith in God, in His goodness, in His justice and in His wisdom.
They know that without His permission nothing can happen. So they submit themselves in all things to His will. Good people have faith in the future, which is the reason to put spiritual possessions before those of a temporary nature. They know that all vicissitudes of life, all pain and all deceptions are trials or atonements and accept them without murmuring.
Men and women who possess the sentiments of charity and love do well for the sake of goodness, without waiting for payment of any kind. They repay evil with good, take up the defense of the weak against the strong and always sacrifice their own interests in the name of justice. These kind of people encounter satisfaction in the benefits they are able to spread, in the service they are able to render, in the happiness they promote, in the tears they are able to dry and in the consolation they offer to those who are afflicted. Their first impulse is always to think of others before themselves and to look after these interests before looking after their own.
On the other hand, the selfish person always calculates the benefits and losses arising from any generous action. The good person is always good, humane, and benevolent with everyone, without distinction as to race or creed, because they see all men and women as brothers and sisters. They respect all sincere convictions in others and never launch reprobation against those who think otherwise. Charity guides them in every circumstance, because they know that those who prejudice others with evil words, who injure others with their pride by disregarding their susceptibilities, or who knowing they could avoid it, do not draw back at the thought of causing suffering or yet a contrariety, however small, lack the obligation to love one’s neighbor and so do not deserve the clemency of the Lord.
They do not harbor rancor, hate nor yet desire vengeance. Instead they follow the example of Jesus by forgiving and forgetting all offences, only remembering the benefits received, because they know that we ourselves shall be forgiven only in as much as we are able to forgive others. These kind of people are indulgent with the weaknesses of others because they know that they also need indulgence, remembering that Christ said: “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” They do not take pleasure in looking for defects in others, nor in calling attention to them, and if necessity obliges them to do so, they always try to look for the good qualities so as to lessen the bad ones. Good people study their own imperfections and work unceasingly to combat them, using all their strength, so that tomorrow they will be able to say that they are just a little better than they were the day before. The good person never tries to emphasize the importance of their own spirit or talents at the expense of others. But on the contrary, they take every opportunity to highlight in others whatever these people may have that is useful.
They are not conceited about their riches, nor of any personal advantage, knowing that everything that has been given to them may be taken away. They use, but do not abuse, the possessions which have been conceded to them because they are only a deposit, for which they will be required to give full account. They know that the most detrimental employment that these riches can be put to is the satisfaction of their own passions. If then, by social order, a good person has been placed in a position of command over their fellow creatures, they treat them with kindness and benevolence, because before God all men are equal.
They use their authority to raise up the morale of these people and never to crush them with their own pride. They avoid everything which might cause a subordinate position to be even more painful than necessary. On the part of those who are subordinate, let it be understood that the duties which go with this position must be clearly appreciated and conscientiously fulfilled. (See chapter 17, item 9.) Finally, a good person is always one who respects the rights of their fellow beings, as assured by the laws of nature, in the same way that they would wish their own to be respected. These are not all the qualities which distinguish a good person, but anyone who tries hard to possess those which have been mentioned will find themselves on the road which leads to all the rest.