They should each try to be the first to show respect to the other (Romans 12:10), supporting with the greatest patience one another's weaknesses of body or behavior, and earnestly competing in obedience to one another. No one is to pursue what he judges better for himself, but instead, what he judges better for someone else. (The Rule of St. Benedict)
In my life, one of the most difficult things I've found in my own journey toward holiness is learning how to truly love those around me. As you know, every single person is broken and sinful, even those closest to us. Just look around at any family gathering and you'll quickly see what I mean. Yet, St. Benedict instructs the monks living in community to support each other "with the greatest patience one another's weaknesses of body or behavior . . . "
Notice that Benedict instructs the monks not just to have patience but GREAT patience toward those who are somehow "weak" of body or behavior. In other words, he calls them (and us) to lives of radical forgiveness. If I can't extend forgiveness to others, it's a symptom of the state of my own heart. That's probably why the very next sentence in the Rule says "To their fellow monks they show the pure love of brothers . . ." I can't love another very well without regularly extending forgiveness and trying to look beyond their defects to what is right and good in them. Of course, I also must recognize my own need for ongoing forgiveness from God and my family, friends, and co-workers. I too am a great sinner in need of a great Savior.
Isn't this what Jesus meant when he called us to love one another?
‘This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. (John 15.12 NRSV)
I pray that this Advent I can really begin to live in a way that looks for the very best in those around me and try to see them through the eyes of our Lord who is love.