Be Kind To Everyone!

Behold, you are pleased with sincerity of heart,
and in my inmost being you teach me this wisdom.

Psalm 51:8

Quite recently, a celebrity drew criticism after sitting with a perceived political enemy at a public event. Some of her fans and followers took her to task because the person she’d associated with had been unsupportive of issues which directly effected them all. This celebrity responded candidly as she habitually does. She pointed out that she consistently encourages her audiences and friends to be kind to one another. She went on to explain that this means to be kind to everyone, not only those with whom we agree. I admit that I applauded her for standing by her principles. I also asked myself how often I’d allowed a difference of opinion to cause me to withhold my kindness from another of God’s children.

You know, I truly believe that God is alive and well among us and within us all. This celebrity may or may not acknowledge God in her life. However, she exhibited God’s attitude toward us through her example in this situation. The good news is that many of us do our best to live out what we call our faith or our consciences’ dictates or our humanity.

This story touched me because so much of the opposite is at play these days. Perhaps it’s time for all of us to pay closer attention to our parts in all of this. Whether we’re driven by faith or philosophy or a simple sense of our common humanity, we need to allow one another to do the best each of us can. When interventions are in order, we need to offer them constructively as best we can. It seems to me that this is all God asks.

Dear God, help us all to be ambassadors of your love.

©2019 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

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Find The Courage

But Jesus turned to them and said, “Daughters of Jerusalem,
do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.”

Luke 23:28

The Eighth Station: Jesus Meets The Women of Jerusalem

Once again, it was the women who approached Jesus. In spite of the soldiers’ threat, they stepped up to offer their tears on Jesus’ behalf. Jesus responded by consoling them. Jesus had embraced the road which lay before him. So it was that he encouraged the women to do the same. Jesus made no empty promises regarding the difficulties of life on this earth. What Jesus did offer was his example of persistence and his certainty in the things to come.

It isn’t easy for any of us to live as Jesus did. Though we may not be called to carry a wooden cross beam that is twice our size, we’re often called to do the right thing in difficult circumstances. Sometimes, our choices seem small in the grand scheme of things. Sometimes, our choices have far-reaching consequences. Always, what we choose to do makes a world of difference to us and to those we have been given to love both nearby and far away.

Today, I find courage in those brave women who approached Jesus. Today, I’ll respond as they did to everyone I meet along the way.

Loving God, you are with me in everything I do. Help me to be brave enough to behave accordingly.

©2019 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

All Good

A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
From Psalm 51:19

This morning, a friend forwarded an article about Pope Francis. After reading it, I had to admit to myself that I sometimes allow the negatives “out there” to distract me. Pope Francis and many good souls have brought goodness into my life and the lives of others. The article renewed my hope in humankind and gave me reason to smile.

You know, I truly believe that God is alive and well among us, within and outside of the church. Numerous people do their best to live out what they call their faith or their consciences’ dictates as best they can. Still, I also realize that we humans sometimes unwittingly do our best to undermine the good work of those around us.

Perhaps it’s time for all of us to pay attention to our inner compasses. Whether we are driven by faith or philosophy or a simple sense of what’s right, we need to allow one another to do the best we can. It seems to me that this is all God asks whether we believe or not!

Dear God, help us all to be ambassadors of goodness.

©2016 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

Have Courage

But Jesus turned to them and said, “Daughters of Jerusalem,
do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.”

Luke 23:28

The Eighth Station: Jesus Meets The Women of Jerusalem… Once again, it is the women who approach Jesus. In spite of the soldiers’ threat, they step up to offer their tears on Jesus’ behalf. Jesus responds by consoling them. Jesus has embraced the road that lay before him. Now, he encourages the women to do the same. Jesus makes no empty promises regarding the difficulties of life on this earth. What Jesus does offer is his example of persistence and certainty in the things to come.

It isn’t easy for any of us to live as Jesus did. Though we may not be called to carry a wooden cross that is twice our size, we are often called to do the right thing in difficult circumstances. Sometimes, our choices seem small in the grand scheme of things. Sometimes, our choices have far-reaching consequences. Always, what we choose to do makes a world of difference to us and to those we have been given to love both nearby and far away.

Loving God, help me to find the courage to do the right thing in matters great and small. When it doubt, remind me that I can always turn to you for counsel.

©2016 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

Heal With Love

Those who are healthy do not need a physician, but the sick do.
I have not come to call the righteous to repentance, but sinners.

Luke 5:31-32

Like you, I usually find it easy enough to do the right thing. Perhaps it’s a relatively a perfect day and I’m full of energy. Unexpected good news may have brightened my horizons. Perhaps I stepped onto the scale and discovered that I finally shed those stubborn pounds that simply would not let go. I am at my best on such days, and I meet the day’s challenges accordingly. Still, some mornings, it is a challenge to open my eyes, much less to greet the new day with a smile. On those days, I am tempted to ignore the ringing telephone, to avoid email at all costs and to erase everything on my calendar.

In the midst of this dysfunctional state, it occurs to me that some people live their entire lives this way. Some of us who seem to have perfect lives fight depression twenty-four/seven. Some of us who seem to have all of the money in the world cannot afford the time to enjoy life and the people they have been given to love. Some of us who seem to “have it all” have managed to lose themselves in the process of “arriving.” Before contemplating further, I whisper a prayer of petition for those caught in difficult lives and a prayer of thanksgiving for my life. I also whisper a promise to use the gift of my circumstances well.

Generous God, the circumstances of my life offer continued opportunities for me to do good. Help me to celebrate your presence with those who see you, and help me to bring your presence to those who cannot.

©2015 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved