But when you sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ.
Read Chapter 8
Augustine of Hippo
It is the very law of Christ that we bear one another’s burdens. Moreover, by loving Christ we easily bear the weakness of another, even him whom we do not yet love for the sake of his own good qualities, for we realize that the one whom we love is someone for whom the Lord has died.
Consequently, either when something is done which is intrinsically evil and scandal results, or if the performance of a licit act and one within our sphere of competence causes scandal to one who is weak in faith or knowledge, then the penalty is clear and unescapable… “It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck.” ...
Do you observe how quietly and gradually he has brought their offense up to the very summit of iniquity? And again, he makes mention of the infirmity of the other sort: and so, the very thing which these considered to make for them, that he every where turns round upon their own head. And he said not, Putting stumbling-blocks in their way, but, wounding; so as by the force of his expression to indicate their cruelty. For what can be more savage than a man who wounds the sick? And yet no wound is so grievous as making a man to stumble. Often, in fact, is this also the cause of death.
But how do they sin against Christ? In one way, because He considers the concerns of His servants as His own; in another, because those who are wounded go to make up His Body and that which is part of Him: in a third way, because that work of His which He built up by His own blood, these are destroying for their ambition's sake. ...
Those who wound a weak conscience sin against Christ. He considers the concerns of his servants to be his own. Those who are wounded make up his own body. These people are destroying the work which Christ built up by his own blood.