There is an old philosophical question “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?” My answer to you is that of course it does make a sound. What you say matters whether or not anyone else is around to hear it. What you think matters too. You are to conduct yourselves at good and honorable people, examples of Christians in the world. Sometimes you will get angry. Sometimes you will hit your thumb with a hammer and you will want to curse. When I have been the most frustrated; in a car, in the basement, in the woods, those times when I thought I could swear like anything and no one could hear me anyway, someone is always around to hear me. Sometimes it is my husband, sometimes a stranger, sometimes a friend, sometimes a child who just happens to walk into the situation where I think I’m alone and no one can hear. I really regret the times when I indulge in venting and fowl language. It is always unbecoming of a Christian and reflects poorly on me. When you are angry, say you are angry. When you need to vent, vent in a constructive way. Hold your tongue and go for a run or just take a deep breath and ask Jesus to help you to handle the feelings that you are having. Your feelings aren’t wrong. The permission that you give yourself to vent, curse, or act out is what is wrong.
Also, never, ever talk badly about another person. The sarcastic comedy that has permeated our society for the last 40 years has just gotten worse and worse. It has become so lewd and unrighteous that it is hard to find kindness in any man or woman. We are asked by Jesus to love one and other. We are also asked to love our enemies. When we find it impossible to love, we can ask Jesus for help. When we fail, we ask Jesus to forgive us. Admit when you are wrong and ask for forgiveness from each other. Pray for those who you find most frustrating. They need our prayers.
Oh God, help me to say yes when I mean yes and no when I mean no. Help me to speak with grace and dignity. Help me to hold my tongue and choose to handle my feelings in constructive ways. Help me to see you in each person and love them. Help me never to speak harshly about another but to be charitable and forgiving. I can do these things through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Today is the Feast of St Francis of Assisi. St Francis is known for how he left worldly things behind and learned to be present with the Lord through all the people he met at all times. I went to daily mass today to celebrate St Francis. The priest gave a lovely homily about St Francis and it gave me much to think about. I have been studying the lives of St Francis and St Claire as I discern whether to join the Third Order Franciscans. I have been on this path for 15 months. This order is a way of life devoted to simplicity and presence with others. St Francis learned to love himself and then he learned to love others modeling himself after Jesus who is love and mercy itself.
I like the reminder that we have an awesome God who loves me. He made me and I am good. He made others and they are good too. Please remember that and hold fast to your relationships with each other. Be merciful and loving toward yourself and your neighbor. St Francis and St Claire give us good examples of how to do this.
When you have an issue with others, forgive them, talk to them, and love them. All of your relationships will be better. Always remember that the devil is the one who wants you to be righteous and angry and unforgiving. God is the one who asks us to be humble and loving and forgiving.
Oh God, thank you for the example of St Francis and St Claire. Help me to love You, to love myself, and to love others just as St Francis and St Claire did. Help me to see you when I look at my neighbor and at myself through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
An oldie but goodie… your brother recently mentioned the FISH book that I read to all of you about a dozen years ago when you were all still home. He wanted me to know that he is choosing to like his work and he likes interacting with his customers and helping them with their moves (he is working for a moving company). He asked me if I like my work and I had to pause and think about that. Too often, I can see only the obstacles and fail to see all the positives. It is really important to live in the present and I often get caught up in future and what if thinking. So, do you remember the 4 principles of the FISH philosophy? Be There (Be present), Make their day, Choose your attitude, Have fun (play). Thanks to the reminder, I’m having more fun today. Here is the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9cHj6Wj0pko and the link to the book: FISH, A Proven Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results by Lundin, Paul and Christensen, https://www.amazon.com/Fish-Proven-Morale-Improve-Results/dp/0786866020/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1475604961&sr=1-1&keywords=fish+a+proven+way+to+boost+morale+and+improve+results
Oh God, help us to be present where we are this day, in this moment. Help us to see those around us and pay attention to their needs, be there for them, and make their day. Help us to choose our attitude and see how we can have fun with the work we have to do this day. Thank you God for our work, for our co-workers, we pray for each of them and each other through Christ our Lord, Amen.