March 24, 2010
Here’s something to think about the next time you feel like being critical of someone else…
Sometimes our passions rule us and we mistake it for zeal. We are critical of the small defects in our neighbors, but overlook the serious faults in ourselves…We are quick to complain of what we put up with from others, with never a thought of what others suffer from us.
If we would see ourselves as we really are, we would not find cause to judge others severely…Those who are turned to God…find it easy to be silent about the deeds of others. (The Imitation of Christ, p. 75)
Lord, keep my eyes turned toward you so that no unwarranted judgment about another will even form in my heart much less escape from my lips. Amen.
March 9, 2009
I have firm beliefs against abortion and strong feelings about the subject. Last November I found myself troubled with thoughts about how the injustice of abortion would continue and even increase under a pro-abortion Obama presidency.
I knew I needed to get a grip when one day, while running on the treadmill at the gym, I found myself holding an imagined abortion debate with the woman running on the treadmill in front of me. She happened to be wearing a “pro-Obama” t-shirt. Not only did I debate this complete stranger in my my mind , but, I also found myself judging the heart of this woman that I didn’t even know. (And yes, I won the debate 🙂 )
Later that week I sat down with my journal and this is what came to me. It seems appropriate to share given today’s gospel reading from Mass found in the 6th chapter of Luke:
Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven.”
Why burden your heart with things you cannot control? Why worry, fret and grow angry over things you cannot change — at least things that are not within your direct influence? If your burden leads you to prayer, fasting and acts of love and mercy then by all means it’s a worthy load to carry. But, beware of burdens that consume your thoughts and energy and keep you from doing God’s will with regard to your vocation in life.
If you are not careful your righteous anger over injustice can easily become self-righteous indignation, full of condemnation and judgment of things and people over which you are not called to be the final judge. What good to God is a conscience that loves justice but then becomes consumed with anger, pride, condemnation and judgment? What good does it do for your soul or the souls of others?
Do what you can to promote truth and work for social justice but do not let your emotions consume you and carry you away from the peace of Christ. Remember this truth: The Lord your God is in control. He is the final judge. He will bring all to account for their lives here on earth.
May 26, 2008
The rose does not need to prove itself or convert you to its side. It knows it is a rose. In fact, its inner authority might well be so pressing and demanding that you might say to the rose, as did Francis de Sales, “Stop shouting!”
If Christianity relied on its inner authority, the weight of its truth and the sheer power of genuine goodness, the world would also say to Christians, “I hear you; stop shouting!” And we would not have preached a sermon or spoken a single word.
-from Near Occasions of Grace
St. Francis of Assisi once said, Preach the gospel at all times and if necessary use words. St. Catherine of Siena said, if you are what you should be you’ll set your world on fire.
Lots of wisdom in those quotes. Makes me wonder what would happen if we spent more time being what we’re called to be and less time telling others what they should be.