Monday, February 11, 2013

Fruit of the Spirit - 5

Confirmation Prep #5 - Kindness is a good virtue to follow up from Patience.
Most acts of kindness take extra time for Christians -- and who has extra time?! It takes a little patience whenever we practice kindness: holding the door open for someone, unloading our many bags of groceries, washing the water bottles for the whole team, adopting a family at Christmas, etc. 
The best examples I could find in the Bible about kindness are:
1. The Good Samaritan -- a traveling man (who was likely busy and thinking about other things) stops to take care of a stranger. He spends money for the lodging and health care of this stranger (who is politically and culturally an enemy of his own people). Are we kind to others? Even our enemies in the same way? What a challenge for how far our kindness should extend!!
2. The Wedding Feast at Cana -- the couple has run out of wine at the party where Jesus and his disciples are attending as their friends. He turns the water into wine, really good wine. He gives the wedding couple the BEST of gifts, and he does not brag with his elaborate gift, but does it so kindly (in a nearly unseen way).  Jesus was showing the sacredness of weddings, and He was showing his love for the joyful hearts for everyone at this wedding. It is so important that it is the 2nd Luminous Mystery of the Rosary. 
Megan and I were fortunate enough to see the huge painting of the "Wedding Feast at Cana" at the Louvre Museum in Paris. It arrived in Paris after it was stolen from an Italian monastery by Napolean. It measures 22 x 32 feet, and it sits opposite from the tiny "Mona Lisa" (measuring only 30 x 21 inches). The huge painting shows the reception with music, fancy clothes, and dogs playing around their feet. Some say you can see the next course being prepared--lambs are being butchered for roasting. The painter gives us many Catholic symbols, including the shining light around Christ's head. 
(from Spencer) At SLUH, we had prayer on the P.A. system three times a day. "We dedicate all of our thoughts, words, and actions..." (response:) "to the greater glory of God." Saying this three times a day for roughly 180 school days a year for four years means that I said this 2160 times. So I've thought about it once or twice. This saying comes from Ignatius; its original Latin is Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam. Kindness is more than our actions, and I think that is what people miss most. We see the kindness in others through their words and actions, but God sees our kindness in EVERYTHING we think, do, and say. This is strange to think about, but kindness is most important when no one is looking and no one knows about it. 

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