Whether your encounter with others today is pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral, see each person as Jesus himself. Allow this prayer of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin be your prayer for the day: “Grant me to recognize in others, Lord God, the radiance of your own face.”
Archives for February 2015
Each day, I follow a schedule or calendar of duties laid out for that particular day. For example, 5:00am prayers, 7:00am Mass, 9:30am finance meeting, 11:00am homebound visit, 12:10pm Mass, and 7:00pm meeting. Maybe your schedule is similarâ€¦maybe even more packed!
And if you are guided by this kind of schedule, it might prove helpful to schedule “a meeting with virtue” within which you schedule an opportunity to do some act for the sole benefit of pleasing God. Maybe you go out of your way to take a break with a co-worker who is not so friendly, or maybe new to the office and doesn’t have many acquaintances as of yet. Maybe you take a quick trip to the grocery store and then immediately deliver some canned goods to CoNSERNS-U or any other food pantry. Perhaps you stop by a church and offer prayers for another who may be sufferingâ€¦or for peace so desperately needed throughout our world. Maybe you call a shut-in or homebound person and offer an errand or two for them.
No matter what, scheduling such a time for goodness and Godliness is well-served. Our prayer might be: “Lord, as your mercies do surround us, let this day manifest our gratitude by doing something well-pleasing to you.”
One of the “little mysteries”, or simple rites, that can be celebrated during baptism is the Ephphatha Rite (or “Be opened!”). As the minister touches the ears and mouth of the one being baptized, he says, “The Lord Jesus made the deaf hear and the dumb speak. May he soon touch your ears to receive his word, and your mouth to proclaim his faith, to the praise and glory of God the Father.” And so our ears are made for receiving the Word of God, and our mouths are meant to proclaim God’s praise and glory from the implanted gift of faith.
Many people suffer from the attraction to gossip. Whether simply hearing it or sharing it, gossip eats away at the reputation of another. Yet every human person has the established right to their good reputation, no matter what. And so, whether you are tempted toward calumny (the spreading of lies which degrade another) or toward detraction (the spreading of truths which, although true, still destroy the good reputation of another), remember that your mouth was made for a holy purpose, and ears were made similarly to hear Goodness. Recall the maxim: if you can’t say anything good, don’t say anything at all. Recall this simple reflection throughout Lentâ€¦and I pray that the Lord will again touch your ears and your mouth, that God will be the wondrous workings of your body!
From the prophet Isaiah, “Comfort, give comfort to my people” (Is 40:1). We all know someone who is suffering from a loss due to death, divorce, separation, disability, layoff. Bringing the gift of your presence can bring comfort to one who is grieving: visit with them, offer a listening ear and some gentle words of encouragement, support and kindness. Not only will that bring comfort to the one who is grieving, but it will also swell the giver’s soul with gifts of joy and compassion.
So often, we are expected to make judgments: about an issue; concerning a decision; considering options. But, too often, we fall into the trap of judging persons as good or evil. Recall how hod God made humankind and saw His creation to be “very good”. Indeed every human person is made in God’s image, therefore, each one deserves to be reverenced as “of God”. Each human person, therefore, is an instance of God’s perfection and love. Instead of judging another, seek to discern what makes him or her beautiful in God’s eyes. It may be tough work, but when accomplished, it gives each of us yet another opportunity to praise our generous God for giving us yet another instance of His presence among us.