Oh Lord, purify me, make me a chalice in which you dwell, offer your sacrifice in me and spread your love through me. Let me shine like gold, adorn me with the jewels of virtue that I may always be open to you. Fill me. Overflow me. Let me be like that most perfect vessel, the Singular Vessel of Devotion, She to whom I cry for protection against the Evil One. I ask this for your glory, for the vessel is nothing without the sustenance inside, the cup nothing unless it is filled. Oh Lord, purify me.

Give me a word, Abba

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Kindness

I mentioned to one of my friends at dinner last night that there is a distinct difference between being "nice" and being "kind." It's something I've been thinking about a lot recently, mostly because I can see the difference in myself. "Niceness" is a somewhat self-centered attitude, where people's perception of you is the most important. If you are nice, you'll look good and attractive to people, right? But "niceness" is a very shallow thing whereas "kindness" is not. Kindness is directed to another person. It is true attentiveness to the needs, wants, and situations of others. We can spend time with another person, but it takes a kind person to seek out that person and give them your time. See the difference? One is seen as "spending" time, a cold, businesslike word, and the other is "giving" time, a personal word.

Kindness is so much more important than being nice. You can act pleasant all you want, but it isn't enough to truly be a friend. Everyone has interior struggles that are not addressed through exterior postures. Everyone! Even the person who is the most confident, the most put together, the most happy person! There is an attitude at the University of Notre Dame that in order to be successful, you need to appear happy, put together, busy, self sufficient....the list goes on, but it does not allow for vulnerability which is the opening to Love.

This vacuum of vulnerability means that all sorts of harmful vulnerabilities rush in to fill it. We allow ourselves to be used and use others. We succumb to alcohol, the party scene, the loose sexual morals which all make us vulnerable, but in all the worst ways. Vulnerability results in pain and the shattering of our innocence when it is not accompanied by genuine love.

But when we are kind, we are making ourselves vulnerable and allowing vulnerability in others to come through and the sharing of healthy vulnerability in a safe, sober situation is the gateway to love. Selfless gift of time and attention, even if that means leaving someone alone is true love. Even this vulnerability can result in pain, but as we know, the greatest act of love was an act of suffering, with a resurrection afterwards.

No bad can come from true kindness, only from the false vulnerability so rampant on college campuses which can trick us into thinking it is love. What is really is is a loud cry for love that we can answer if we will give to each other the time and the love of true kindness.



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