Praying for Greater Kindness
Brother John Raymond
This time I want to write about praying for kindness. I'm sure
all our readers are kind. I want to discuss praying for greater
kindness. No matter how kind we are I think we can be kinder. If we
ask for the grace we can be more kind, more thoughtful, gentler and
more compasionate. All of these terms could be considered more or
less synanoms of kindness.
Now, I must tell you that, as I write this, Brother Craig is
sitting in the room reading. He looked up and asked , "What are you
writing about this time?" I told him kindness. He said, "You're
always kind." I don't agree but didn't tell him as he had already
gone back to his reading. Brother Craig reads a lot.
Kindess is a very important virtue... Wait, Brother just said
something. "Be kind, be kind and you'll become a Saint." He recited
it aloud and went back to reading. I figured it was a quote. "Who
said that?" I asked. "Blessed Jan van Ruysbroeck", he said. "Can you
spell that?" I asked. He said he couldn't and went to look it up.
Of course, all the Saints were kind. Some were especially famous
for it as was St. Francis de Sales. I think the secret of the great
kindness of the Saints was that they didn't settle for ordinary,
everyday kindness but prayed for extraordinary kindness. We can
start by being kind to those who are kind to us. But we must also
move on to the practice of being kind to those who are not kind to
us. Then work toward being very kind to those who are very unkind to
us. Also we should be heroically kind to those who have hurt us or
have hurt someone we love. That last one isn't easy. If someone
kills your child can you be kind to him or her? God wants us to be.
Jesus forgave those who crucified Him. His Mother forgave them also.
If we are open, God will give us the grace to be kind even to
someone who has hurt us terribly. The Holy Father forgave, embraced
and called the man who shot him "Brother." He has been greatly
admired for this by many people including the Dalai Lama. God will
give us the grace to forgive anything if we want it, if we ask for
it. But we must let go of the bitterness, we must want to be
forgiving. With this forgiveness we can be very, very kind.
Brother Craig is back. He found the spelling and said, "Here's a
quote from Simone Weil." Brother loves reading this French
Philosopher's writings and the quote shows she truly strove to be
"Even in my worst moments I would not destroy a Greek statue or a
fesco by Giotto. Why anything else the? Why, for example, a moment
in the life of a human being who could have been happy for that
Being kind is part of following the Gospel. No, it's not always
easy. The world says, "get revenge", this is taught in films and on
television. We are encourage to get even. Though we are never told
how hurting the person who hurt us or someone we love makes things
even. It doesn't erase the original hurt. The Christian is called to
be kind, heroically kind, like Jesus and Mary. Like the Saints. Yes,
we are all called to be Saints. Leon Bloy, the great French writer,
stated, "There is only one sadness and that is not to be a Saint."
So let's pray to be like the Saints. Let's pray to be kind.