Friday, December 6, 2013

“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”

We must meditate before, during and after everything we do. The prophet says: "I will pray, and then I will understand." This is the way we can easily overcome the countless difficulties we have to face day after day, which, after all, are part of our work. In meditation we find the strength to bring Christ to birth in ourselves and in others. - Saint Charles Borromeo

Scripture Text: ( IS 29:17-24)
Thus says the Lord GOD:
But a very little while,
and Lebanon shall be changed into an orchard,
and the orchard be regarded as a forest!
On that day the deaf shall hear
the words of a book;
And out of gloom and darkness,
the eyes of the blind shall see.
The lowly will ever find joy in the LORD,
and the poor rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.
For the tyrant will be no more
and the arrogant will have gone;
All who are alert to do evil will be cut off,
those whose mere word condemns a man,
Who ensnare his defender at the gate,
and leave the just man with an empty claim.
Therefore thus says the LORD,
the God of the house of Jacob,
who redeemed Abraham:
Now Jacob shall have nothing to be ashamed of,
nor shall his face grow pale.
When his children see
the work of my hands in his midst,
They shall keep my name holy;
they shall reverence the Holy One of Jacob,
and be in awe of the God of Israel.
Those who err in spirit shall acquire understanding,
and those who find fault shall receive instruction.

Describing the longed-for age of the Messiah, the prophet Isaiah conveys wonderful promises about what will happen when God finally brings his redemption. The deaf will hear, the blind will see, the poor will rejoice, and tyrants will be overthrown. Even the very landscape will be altered!

But among these grand promises is a more personal one that can touch each and every one of us today: the gift of understanding. And what a gift this is! We all know how easy it can be to “err in spirit,” to “find fault,” and to condemn someone “with a mere word” (Isaiah 29:24, 21). Judgmental behaviors like these involve “standing over” someone and looking down on him or her. As such, they are the direct opposite of understanding.

To understand is to “stand under.” It is to offer people our support and to look up to them with deep respect. Every person deserves to be treated this way, with respect and understanding, because everyone is made in the image of God. It may be hard to detect in some, but if we ask the Lord to open our eyes and we purify our hearts through the Sacrament of Confession, we will be able to discern traces of God’s handiwork in even the most difficult people around us. And seeing them in this new light, we will understand them a little better.

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