The real painting by Luke Hillestad: Dead is Dead
(I used a gif of this painting last week)
Everything that happens to us happens providentially.
Just when you think you are standing - you fall.
Just when you think you are loving - you see how mean you can be.
Instead of turning the right cheek to be slapped, you hold the left cheek in self-defense and contempt.
The Pope spoke today of the Beatitudes, as the 'new law' ...
The Pope continued his homily commenting on the words of the evangelist Luke who also speaks of the Beatitudes and lists what he calls the ‘four woes’: ‘Woe to the rich, to the satiated, to those who laugh now, to you when all speak well of you’.
[...]the Pope said the three steps that lead to perdition are:
“the attachment to riches, because I need nothing;”
“Vanity – that all must speak well of me, making me feel important, making too much of a fuss… and I am convinced to be in the right” he said, referring also the parable of the self-righteous Pharisee and the Tax Collector: “O God I thank you that I am such a good Catholic, not like my neighbor…”
“The third – he said – is pride, the satiation and the laughter that closes one’s heart”.
Of all the Beatitudes – the Pope said there is one in particular: “I’m not saying it is the key to all of them, but it induces us to much reflection and it is: Blessed are the meek. Meekness”.
“Jesus says of himself: ‘learn from me for I am meek of heart’, I am humble and gentle at heart. To be meek is a way of being that brings us close to Jesus” he said.
“The opposite attitude, Pope Francis concluded, always causes enmities and wars…lots of bad things that happen. But meekness, meekness of heart which is not foolishness, no: it’s something else. It’s the capacity to be deep and to understand the greatness of God, and worship Him”. - RV
That's the lesson for me to be learned, I think.
Meekness. You can give them your shirt as well as your coat, but if you lack meekness it is still vanity prompting you to repay evil with good. It's not sincere - you seek your own satisfaction.
You can go with someone the extra mile, but if you do so to have the last word, it is vanity to convince the other that you are in the right.
If you pray for your enemies simply to 'heap coals on their head' you remain the self-righteous Pharisee who thanks God that 'I am such a faithful Catholic, not like my neighbor...'
Charity has no strings.
"I have to remember that the Lord only enters my heart through the failures that cause my spiritual emptiness." - Fr. Tadeuz Dajczer
Jesus meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto thine.