Praying for Greater Kindness

Dec. 11,1994
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.