Some years ago when I was dealing with a difficult situation that had lasted a while, I was praying in our chapel one day. A sister who was visiting from Italy -- who knew nothing of the difficulty -- came up to me and expressed genuine appreciation for some of my good qualities. When people do that I tend to disregard it, but in this case it was such perfect timing and so completely affirming that I thought it had to be the Holy Spirit who inspired her. It wasn't flattery but I felt almost like she had a window into my soul. And she didn't say any negative things like I may have feared, but instead she spoke of the good she saw in me. And that makes it easier to live out of those good things. It took me completely by surprise but it was a wonderful act of kindness. To this day whenever I think of that, I still recall how good I felt.
Kindness can make such a big difference to another person, and it often costs us so little. To look at someone and see their good points instead of their flaws is an act of kindness. And only kind people will do that. We reveal who we ourselves are by the way we treat others.
How can I show greater kindness to others today?
Prayer to the Holy Spirit by St John Paul II
Come, Holy Spirit. Come. Enter deep into the hearts of those who belong to you. May each be given the manifestation of you for the common good. So that God may be all in all.
Lord, give me a spirit of faith and knowledge. Give me a spirit of kindness and generosity. Give me a spirit of love and unity. The fruit of the spirit is love, patience, and generosity. It is peace.
When I was young, I admired clever people. Now that I am old, I admire kind people. -- Abraham Joshua Heschel
The Veni Creator Spiritus