Fruit of the Holy Spirit // Kindness

Dear God, If I cannot be brilliant, let me be kind. If I can not change the world, let me inspire just one other to do so. If I can not give away riches, let me be loving. Let me be known for kindness, for it is the greatest glory Amen

“Those who withhold kindness from a friend forsake the fear of the Almighty"Job 6:14

I admit I haven’t spent much time studying Job, but from what I know about his story, I often feel like I can relate. It seems like no matter how hard I try to do the right thing, everything just gets worse and worse. A quote from Aragorn in The Two Towers sums up my feelings well – “Alas! An ill fate is on me this day and all that I do goes amiss.” Yesterday was the first day since Easter that I have been able to leave the house and go to Mass.  

I suffer from agoraphobia and most of the time, the thought of leaving the house gives me extreme anxiety; I start shaking, I feel sick to my stomach, and I feel like I’m going to pass out. But, I pushed through yesterday because I had an appointment that I had already rescheduled once, and when I successfully made it through that I decided to go to Mass, as well.

I arrived a few minutes late, but was so excited to hear that the homily was about kindness.The priest said that just as parents are to show kindness when their child does something wrong, God also showed kindness by sending his only Son to die on the cross for us. Titus 3:4-5 mentions this as well: “But when the kindness and love of God appeared, He saved us, not because of righteous things we have done, but because of His mercy.”

St Teresa of Calcutta once said,

“Kindness has converted more people than zeal, science, or eloquence.”

We all want to be treated with kindness, but it’s not always easy to treat others with kindness. Kindness isn’t only things like holding the door open for someone or letting someone go ahead of you in the checkout line – though those things are nice too. 

Kindness is also smiling at the overwhelmed, exhausted mother struggling with children at Mass, responding calmly and quietly when your child spills your coffee for the third time or hides their dirty diaper in a pot after you asked them to throw it away (both things may or may not have happened to me today…), giving a second chance to a friend that has been less than friendly to you in the past… the list is endless.

Remember Matthew 25:40 – “Truly I say to you, whatever you did for one of the least of my brothers, you did for Me.” What are some ways you can practice kindness in your life today, this week, this month?

“Do not let a day pass without doing some good during it.” – St Philip Neri

To Jesus Through Mary - Adrianna Tucker

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