Items filtered by date: February 2021
Abstaining from criticizing is certainly not an easy path to follow. Everything in life can become an opportunity for a downfall in this area and, especially in this time of pandemic, criticism often rises to the surface, even spontaneously, when faced with such and such a situation or with particular people. “They aren’t wearing a mask; they aren’t keeping social distancing; the vaccines aren't being delivered because of Mr. So-and-So” and what all else? On a strictly human level, abstaining from criticism then seems hard to practice, if not impossible.
At the same time, it is not said that spiritually this is not feasible. When the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary to tell her that she would be the mother of the Most High, he answered her question by saying: "But to God, nothing is impossible" (Lk 1, 37).
I understand then that it is to the extent that I elevate myself spiritually, when my relationship to God is both worked on and received as a constant gift, that I will succeed in refraining from criticism instead of feeding off of it. If my relationship with God has not been central throughout my day, criticism takes over. And that I see clearly when doing my Review of the Day where I examine my day in the light of the Spirit.
How can I focus more on God during my day? By spontaneous praise and blessing. Praise is the fuel that drives the engine of my relationship with God; blessing is the fuel that drives the engine of my relationship with others. Am I tired from an on-going situation? By praising God and thanking Him despite this negative situation, I find inner peace. The Magnificat is, among others, my favorite and most effective prayer of praise for restoring peace. Am I tired of someone getting on my nerves? As I bless this person in the name of Jesus, I find peace in thinking of them. For them, I repeat the blessing of the cohanim (priests of the tribe of Levi) Numbers 6, 24-26: “May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make his face shine on you, and be gracious to you! May the Lord turn his face to you, and bring you peace! "
Thank you, Lord, for praise and blessing which restore peace in negative situations.