Listen to God's voice at the foot of the crucifix." ~St. Gaspar del Bufaro~

Monday, June 27, 2011

Fraternity of Kindness

Isn't this the perfect face of kindness?
I've been thinking a lot about kindness lately.  Obviously we don't know what the Mother of God's face really looks like but I picture it being the perfect model of kindness and therefore, pure charity.  If only we could mirror just an ounce of Mary's kindness, maybe we could reflect such a face and begin to truly live the gospel...
Maybe you have heard of The Hidden Power of Kindness, by Father Lawrence Lovasik. It's one of those books that I bought long ago and have had many failed attempts to get it read!  Turning to my own bookshelf in search of summer reading, it caught my eye...a new summer goal to work on:)  Little did I know that it is actually many big summer goals to work on, all rolled into one powerful book!  As I read the first pages, I was moved by love.  The book overflows with the simplicity of small acts of kindness, revealing God's love to the soul, beckoning it to share that love with others.  It also gets you thinking in a BIG way.  Something that really struck me, was how Father Lovasik quickly points out that "many devout people are unkind."  He goes on to point out that "this is often because kindness, as a grace, is not always sufficiently cultivated even among some devout people.  There is sometimes a spiritual selfishness in their devotion, which may interfere with kindness.  This calls for much vigilance."  Wow, this really made me feel uncomfortable as I reflected on my own actions and daily failings.  In a brief encounter with the powerful message of kindness, it has become my deepest desire not to be one of those devout people who are unkind.  And though we may fail, we can be rest assured that it's never too late to try, try, again.  Just as I have been doing a lot of reflecting on everything I have read up to this point, a car ahead of me in the Starbucks drive-thru bought my coffee this morning... I couldn't believe it!  Though I have done that for others on a few occasions, it has never happened to me. Why should I be amazed at God's perfect grace and timing? He never fails to put hope into fainting hearts.  It was a great consolation that I am eager to pay forward.
Would you like to join me in this Fraternity of Kindness?
...Dare to change the world, one deed at a time!
As Father Lovasik points out: "No enrollment is necessary.  There are no officers, no meetings, and no dues.  You must make up your mind that you want to belong to it and then begin immediately to keep the rules.  The rules are simple~3 little don'ts and 3 little dos."  (I typed these out and taped them to my bathroom mirror;)
Don'ts:
1.  Don't speak unkindly of anyone.
2.  Don't speak unkindly to anyone.
3.  Don't act unkindly toward anyone.
Dos:
1.  Do speak kindly of someone at least once a day.
2.  Do think kindly about someone at least once a day.
3.  Do act kindly toward someone at least once a day.
For Any Unkindness Committed:
1.  Make a brief act of contrition, such as "My Jesus, have mercy!"
2.  Offer an apology, if possible.
3. Say a little prayer~such as "Bless N., O Lord,"(for the one to whom you have been unkind).

"Kindness is the grand cause of God in the world....Your mission in life should be to reconquer for God's glory His unhappy world and give it back to Him.  Devote yourself to the beautiful apostolate of kindness, so that you and others may enjoy the bliss of Divine Life."~Fr. Lawrence Lovasik~
Prayer for Kindness
Keep us, O God, from pettiness;
let us be kind in thought, in word, and in deed.
Let us be done with fautlfinding and leave off self-seeking.
May we put away all pretense and meet each other 
face-to-face, without self-pity and without prejudice.
May we never be hasty in judgement and always generous.
Help us, O Lord, always to be kind.
Amen.
Have you stopped over to A Life-Size Catholic Blog?  Through my bloggy friend Anne from Imprisoned In My Bones, it was again, God's perfect timing to discover Holly's delightful place.  Her blog is filled with continuous opportunities for divine inspiration AND ways to live out the Fraternity of Kindness. Be sure to check out these memes and pass them on. Thank you, Holly!






12 comments:

  1. Sounds like a great book! I have heard about buying a drink for someone in line, I've never done it before, but I'm so glad someone bought a coffee for you!!

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  2. Here's my ignorance showing: I thought Father Lovasik wrote only children's books. I shall have to look up this book. It ssounds like a spiritual gem. Oh, yes, I will join you in the Fraternity of Kindness! those rules are simple and meaningful. I'm checking out Holly's site now. As always, Tiffany, you share such beautiful inspiration.

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  3. Great post! I have to come back and really digest some of the points here when I have a few more minutes. It's these kinds of things which can make us good friends of Christ. :)

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  4. Pretty powerful actions in those simple steps. Not that I will perfect it, I will definitely print it, place it on my fridge, and practice it (with all my failings).

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  5. Tiffany~ What a great post! I want to run out and purchase that book! I hope you are planning on posting your links on the linkys at A Life-Size Catholic Blog. I didn't see your posts over there. I was just stopping by and happened upon your great article.

    FYI~ That Motivational & Inspirational button is HUGE for some reason. If you want to replace it with a smaller one. Here's the code:

    {Oh DRAT ... it won't let me post HTML code in your comment box. I had to remove it. I've learned something new today. I guess you will have to get it from my blog.}

    I think it will work if you copy it from this massage. If not ... you can grab the code again from my blog. You can change the size of any button by making the number in the img height="140" smaller, "130" for example.

    I really am going to pick up that book. I hope the local bookstore has it in stock.

    God Bless!

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  6. Hi Tiffany, those are great rules to live by. I've tried to make it a habit when someone is rude to me to pray to God to bless them instead of saying or thinking something unkind. It's hard though in those circumstances but I know it's what I should do.

    I've met Holly@A Life-Size Catholic Blog recently too and she's wonderful! I've been meaning to jump on board with her Pay if Forward but haven't yet. Will do it soon!

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  7. Hi Tiffany, this is my first visit to your blog but I can see my dear friend Noreen has already discovered you!

    I just love Fr Lovasik's book. One Lent we read this book aloud and shared it as a family. We typed out the Dos and Don'ts and they are still attached to the fridge door! My other favourite book is "I Believe in Love." I think that little acts of kindness fit in perfectly with St Therese's Little Way. How much joy we give others by our kind actions. I enjoyed your post! God bless.

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  8. I'm joyfully joining this lovely apostolate of kindness, along with my family. This is a great consolation for me, considering I've been working on character training this week with my kids. You guessed it, kindness is the theme. I needed this encouragement and simple framework since the Good Lord has been giving us ALL many opportunities to grow in kindness (within our home).

    I'm posting the Dos and Don'ts, right now!

    +++AMDG+++

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  9. This is exactly what our family needs at exactly this moment. With the unstructuredness (is that a word?) of summer, we've fallen out of routine and are picking up a few bad habits. I just printed this off and we'll begin tomorrow - ME especially! You'll have to post again in a week or two to "check-up" on all of us and hold us accountable! Thanks again.

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  10. What a great post Tiffany! Random acts of kindness do make the world go around and make it such a beautiful place for everyone! That is so sweet that someone bought you a drink! I would love to do that for someone. That is really a simple idea too to make a small difference in someone's day. I have missed not being around lately and glad I am back for some more of your wonderful inspiration and reflections! I will have to check out that book. It sounds wonderful!
    Hope your summer is going well :D
    Take care!

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  11. Thanks to all of you for stopping by and leaving such "kind" comments:-)
    I pray that all of your little acts of kindness spread the love of Jesus like wild fire!

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  12. Thank you for this post! It's beautiful and truly an inspiration. I've copied out the "Fraternity of Kindness" and will post it to my own mirror, as a reminder to "love my neighbour as my self and to love God with all my heart."

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