Saturday, December 17, 2016

Try not to think ill of anybody ...

I thought of that today.

This morning actually, while clearing snow.  It's easy to say when one is rejoicing, but when one is sad or feeling embittered, it is more difficult.  But only if you let it be.

St. Therese taught that if you already have those thoughts in your heart before you encounter difficult people, you are going to respond negatively - because your heart harbored ill thoughts beforehand.  I probably didn't say that very well, but you know what I mean, "For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of."

I came across something yesterday about Pope Francis which contradicts all of his critics who claim he doesn't like priests.  He loves them.  He spent a great deal of time with his priests when he was Archbishop, I learned that after looking up Fr. Pepe, a priest the Pope is friends with, who works among the poor.  I felt badly because I also came across a negative post of someone speculating whether or not these priests abused the poor they served.  That became my impetus for meditating upon the maxim, "never think ill of anyone."

As we get close to Christmas, the joy is palpable - even amid sadness and suffering and difficulties - even when fully conscious of one's sins - Christ is there - standing, gazing at us through the lattice of all that distracts us, waiting for us to look, to see him there.

So let's stop thinking negatively of the pope, the president, the gays, priests and bishops, divorced and unmarried and whatever, the liberals or conservatives, and so on.  Let's stop projecting or predicting this or that evil to come - as if we are meteorologists predicting severe storms.  Let's quit denigrating others and their families and their simple existence, as if anyone different from us is fair game to mock and scorn and condemn and hate.  Or at least give people a break during the holidays.

You can't keep Christmas well when you harbor uncharitable thoughts - even though you think you are doing so to save souls.  Think how strange that sounds - sort of Jihadist, don't you agree?

Pray for joy, not vain joy in things or status or accomplishment or virtue - but that joy that is deep and pure and freeing - the joy of the Holy Spirit.  Freedom of spirit.

Live and let live.  Be holy and everything else will fall in place.  Even if they kill you for it.


  1. Great post Terry. Will take your advise to heart. Merry Christmas!

  2. I love "The Bishop's Wife." It's such fun to think of Cary Grant as an angel. I find it hard to give people a break, but I realize that if I do, at least during the Christmas season, I'll be giving myself a break. Merry last week of Advent!

    1. I agree Maria. I too love the Bishop's Wife. One of my favorite Christmas Movies. I have searched cable and Netflix to no avail, but found it free online. Loretta Young became a devout Catholic. She was a very quiet donor to the Church especially Christ in the Desert Monastery in NM. Cary Grant showed a great generosity of spirit to his ex wife, Barbara Hutton, the Woolworth heiress once the richest woman in the world who died nearly broke. He was a true father figure to her son, Lance. Maybe Clarence had an influence on them throughout the years!

  3. Darnel will always grow among the wheat, be it at Christmas or any other time of the year.

  4. Months ago we booked flights to see our grandkids for Christmas. Last week I found out someone in the extended family has suddenly announced they will also be visiting for a few days during the time we are there. I won't go into details but let's just say I am praying our holiday doesn't turn into Nat'l Lampoon's Xmas Vacation Movie. Your post was very timely as were the Rosary meditations on the Holy Family this morning as led by one of Knights of Columbus. I know God is hearing my prayers.

  5. Thanks Terry, just exactly what I have been needing to hear/read.
    Don't you just love the wisdom of St Therese ? So piercing.
    and you: "pray for joy - freedom of spirit".

  6. Gee, that's no fun! Just kidding!.... Actually the approach a la Therese you're taking is really the only hope for a truly merry Christmas. Will be thinking of you with gratitude and affection.

  7. btw: really nice painting - keep thinking - british ? used to remember names of painters of that era. memory going.

  8. adopting that attitude today. Merry xmas from Malayia


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