As we return to Ordinary Time today we are presented with the account of the rich young man. It is striking to be reminded that Jesus looked on him with love. Surely Jesus knew the plight of this young man; he knew his heart's attachment to his riches and he knew that this man was not able to answer the call to follow Him more closely; still, the Lord looked on him with love. It is very easy for us, in our daily interactions with others, to dismiss those whose actions we think we can predict. "Oh, all she ever does is complain!" "He never has anything nice to say," etc. We are challenged to look at those in our daily lives -- most especially those with whom we are most familiar -- with the same eyes of love that Jesus looked upon the rich young man. Let us ask for the grace to practice daily acts of kindness and gentleness toward all those we meet -- and especially toward those whom we are tempted to "dismiss."
Here we share a few thoughts on living the little virtues that make everyday life a little more pleasant for those around us. These virtues are based upon the teachings of St. Francis de Sales and were made popular in the literature of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales. A number of years ago, our Sister Anne Marie made bookmarks out of them to disseminate the powerful -- yet albeit simple -- message:
To others' little acts of selfishness and unfairness:
Amid your shortcomings and limitations:
SEE THE BRIGHT SIDE.
When others are curt with you:
SHOW GOOD HUMOR.
At the tiresome tempers of others:
STAY CHEERFULLY EXCUSING.
When someone turns you down:
PUT ON A GOOD FACE.
If someone helps when you'd rather do it yourself:
When answering others:
SPEAK GENTLY AND SHOW COURTESY.