"Are we prepared to promote conditions in which the living contact with God can be reestablished? For our lives today have become godless to the point of complete vacuity. God is no longer with us in the conscious sense of the word. He is denied, ignored, excluded from every claim to have a part in our daily life." - Alfred Delp, S.J.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Love is kind.


Thank God there are bloggers online telling us that love and kindness is not the same thing.  What would happen if that wasn't spelled out to people?  Oh. My.  Gosh.

What if people were just kind to one another?  How would you explain to them that charity-love is more than just being nice?

I used to get so tired of hearing this woman I knew - who began a religious-spa-retreat-treatment type of business - repeating to everyone she got mad at "Jesus wasn't nice!"

Just be kind to one another.

Love is a teacher.  Dostoevsky wrote that.

Where there is no love, put love, and you will find love.  John of the Cross that.


  1. I struggle with that beautiful truth..."love one another as I have loved you."

    Let me be brief...I have for many years...over 20, lived with two brothers who are drug addicts. I live with my mom whom I cannot leave since she is elderly. My dad passed away three years ago. Anyway, the trials are many but in moments of peace....pure joy. Simple joy, grateful joy.

    Then comes the anger...the resentment...the arguments. Sometimes, I am shocked at what crosses my mind, with regards to my brothers, and I cry and I ask Jesus to forgive me, to help me, to deliver my brothers up to him so that they may be free.

    Many times, I have forgotten that only by persevering in prayer and remaining hopeful that God alone will suffice...I have forgotten that HE alone can perform miracles!

    Years back...I was especially angry with one brother...I asked out of frustration, in prayer, I asked Jesus this question," Lord Jesus, how do I deal with my brother, N?" And clear as day, the Lord replied, "with love." That was all he said to me. I was shocked to say the least...angry too because I had a challenge before me...one that would require me to BEND.

    Years have come and gone and I have failed more times than I care to remember at loving my brothers...especially one of them, the one I asked Jesus about.

    Along comes Papa Francis...preaching about love and mercy and seeking the lost. Then, who can seek the lost if one is lost and refuses to be found or to bend?
    It all came back to me the other night after I was done saying my prayers for the night...I recalled what our Lord Jesus had said to me so clearly, so simple...to treat my brother "with love."

    I say this now in response to your post Terry...I tried the hardline way...the "rules apply" way and it has never worked...but after a good cry in reflection, I ask for strength and I tell my brothers I love them and pray for them and the look on their faces is enough for me to know the Lord is at work...I may not live to see them delivered but for as long as I shall live, I will love them to the best of my ability with the love of Christ since on my own...I will not stand.

    Thanks for allowing me to share this with all of you and my apologies for having taken up so much space in doing so.

    Pray for me/mine as I pray for all of you!

    Your mercy is my hope, oh Lord!

    1. Sending you a virtual hug and a non-virtual prayer :) Thanks for your posts, Yaya, I'm always glad to read them.

  2. I don't think you can separate kindness and love. Kindness flows from recognizing the divine inheritance of another, and is a product of love. On the other hand, I've met many nice people that are not kind.

    1. So true...to love is to be open, to be made vulnerable, to be rejected, misunderstood...well, pretty much like our Lord Jesus Christ was and is to this very day.

      In my opinion, too many folks are not willing to take that risk...it hurts too much. I know, I have been there.

  3. God is love. Love is not God.

    1. http://blog.adw.org/2013/10/kindess-is-not-the-same-as-love/

    2. I read the article. Oddly enough, Peter Kreeft's definition of kindness seems to follow David Hume's purely naturalistic understanding. There certainly is a kind of natural kindness, but I was thinking of a supernatural, Christian kindness which runs much deeper. Good christians have hearts full of love and so are able to reprove sinners in a kind way--something Kreeft and Mon. Pope don't allow for given their definition. I think their definition of kindness is too restrictive, and they would say I'm confusing kindness with charity. Oh well.

      I think real kindness is becoming more rare, and we need a lot more of it nowadays...

    3. Scott,

      I don't see it as naturalistic at all. Kreeft explained how, if God's kindness was always what some mean by kindness, we would not have some of what we find in Scripture and God's dealings with man.

  4. Many people think being kind means telling people what they want to hear. I think terms need to be defined. Is it kind to drive a woman to an abortion mill because she doesn't have any way to get there? Is it kind to lie to somebody to make them feel better? In a world as goofy as ours that has turned good and evil on their heads, people need to know what words mean. And I think kindness is one of those words that can be easily twisted to mean its opposite. But maybe I'm just being unkind.

  5. I think a lot about kindness: because it takes So Very Little to inpact another with either kindness or cruelty - both have such a deep and lasting impact.
    I am coming up on one whole year at a nursing home facility, owned by nuns, operated by 'regular' people, lived in my non-religious. Most employees are like me: poor/marginal, responsible, happy to be working.
    It has been a year of great physical stress, as kitchen work/waiting on the elderly is pretty tough: and They are really tough, very needy, demanding, self-engaged.
    I can feel pretty upset internally during a nine-hour day when I do not even get to sit for a moment, rarely have the time to even go to the bathroom, never take a break, etc.
    what I have learned, why do I keep at it, why has it become more a mission than a job: why this sometimes intense internal struggle to 'be kind' in the face of it all: from the nuns who are so clueless as to how they treat people, how negatively they are perceived: yet: they obviously have the great need to be highly regarded, to be held in esteem, and miraculously their employees exhibit the kindness of Christ to Them. it is a miracle, daily.
    I was happy to hear Pope Francis speak about the need to See the marginal young - and the isolated elderly -
    I want sometimes to shake them ! hey ! soon, perhaps Really Soon, you will be meeting The Eternal Father - why not try being Kind instead of Awful for just a minute ?
    anyway, sorry,this is not a rant - but: a personal discovery about what it (can) take to loosen my own kindness - to find it - to survive I must have it in my heart everyday.
    it is sometimes very easy, and mostly: losing yourself, seeing how frail we all are, how lost - we are all sort of clueless when our chests strut outward like we know Something - like we are Someone.
    we are all so defensive sometimes, with such shields.
    so anyway to me kindness, is when you really see another - not yourself; when all you want to do is help someone else with whatever it is they want right Now, so badly, whatever it is that seems so terribly important to them, that has caused them such anxiety, distress, anger, resentment - and all that often boils down to is someone, anyone, responding to them with attentiveness and welcome. that is it. We each just want and need to be visible, and mostly, we are not.
    sorry. Thank God I am only working about 30 hours a week, I'd be a goner for sure, at 60.
    I know I don't express myself as well as all of you - but I always love reading Terry's reflections and everyone's resonses - thanks....

    1. God bless you, consolata. I know what working in a Skilled Nursing Facility is like. I used to work as a charge nurse on the night shift and it was very stressful. I only lasted one year. I now work as a Hospice Nurse involved in Crisis Care.

      Stay strong! Do not lose your hope nor your gratitude for work. Be kind in Jesus name...I try my best too especially because of the difficulties.
      Let's pray for one another. ^^

  6. Song for this post here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfBwsG8ubFw

  7. Here's one - it's from a psalm:

    "If a good man rebukes me, it is kindness."

    So tell someone off today. ;)

    1. The trick is finding a good man to do the rebuking.

      Hi Terry.

  8. Ahhh.....! how often I fantasize going into to the 'top dog (nuns)'s office' to discuss the precept of "just wages" ! many have tried, all have failed. I earn 7.91. in a month I will get twenty-cents more an hour.
    we joke that We take a vow of poverty, not the nuns.
    btw: just what IS that document ? does one really exist that talks about the necessity to provide this 'just' wage ? ohhh.....I'd make copies and go visit the board of directors. I can be pretty confrontational, especially when it comes to the some-time deep hypocracy of our beloved church leaders.
    occasionally....I give a steely-eyed look to a particularly fussy resident and explain that this is a Nursing Home, not Cruise Ship Dining. (no I don't).
    but,,,I will..............

  9. Kindness is NOT niceness. Kindness is LOVE in action, in practical terms. Fr Lawrence Lovasick's book, _The Hidden Power of Kindness_ is one of my all time favorite spiritual books ever. If ever Catholic read that book and put it into action, the Kingdom of God would be here on earth already. Love is not just a feeling, it is an action. That action is what Kindness is, and it is sometimes very hard.

  10. ....that really Is a very good book. amazing, in fact.
    re: prayers for one another Yaya - sounds good to me - thanks....

    1. You are most welcome! All the best! ^^


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