Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Kindness in the Face of Unkindness

We all have our trials when it comes to others. Sometimes these trials even involve those whom we love. A sudden, or lifelong, controversy grows over time and becomes an all-encompassing thorn in our side.

How we react, however, is what's most important. Do we feed the turmoil by being equally abrasive - adding to the fray? Or do we make it a point to be kind - to treat others in the way that we wish to be treated?

The most difficult line in the Lord's Prayer is, "forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us". That's no small, insignificant sentence. It also can't be dissected to refer only to the forgiveness we, ourselves, wish to be given. The full impact is that we are asking God to use the same measuring stick for us that we use when dealing with others.

Wow! That's no small request. If we dive fully into the meaning of these simple words, we come away with a profound concept. Always deal with others in the same way - with kindness. Not only the ones who return the kindness. Not only the ones we love. That would be the sinfully simplistic way to look at our Lord's order to love.

In today's Pentecost Novena we are asked to pray for kindness - one of the twelve Fruits of the Holy Spirit.

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, through Christ Our Lord.
Today, let us seek to be kind - not solely to the obviously simple to identify recipients - but to the ones who don't return our kindness. After all - Jesus would have us do no less. That was His living lesson for us while He walked this earth!