Fr. James Martin, S.J.: Be kind this Lent

Photo by Sandrachile . on Unsplash

Subscribe to “The Examen” for free on Apple Podcasts

Advertisement

Subscribe to “The Examen” for free on Google Play

Join our Patreon Community

What are you giving up for Lent? Well, instead of giving something up how about doing something positive. How about this: Be kind. And let me suggest. First: Give people the benefit of the doubt. After all, why not? Everyone is carrying around some sort of burden. Usually one that you don't even know about. So give them a break. Second: Honor the absent. When you're talking about people who aren’t there be kind. Spiritually speaking, it's essential. It's part of charity. Practically speaking, it makes sense too. Why? Because you'll feel crummy about yourself afterwards. Because the person you're complaining to will probably see you as negative. Finally, because it will probably get back to them. More to the point, it's mean. Finally: Don't be a jerk. There is no need to be. Just because you're having a rotten day doesn't mean you have to pass along your misery to someone else. It's important to share your struggles with friends. But being in a bad mood is no excuse for being unpleasant. If you feel your moving into that territory, ask yourself a simple question, "Am I being a jerk?" If you're somehow unable to discern that, the look on other people's faces will tell you. So for Lent, some advice: Be nice!

[Don’t miss any of the latest writings, podcasts and videos from Father Martin. Sign up for his newsletter.]

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
Tim Donovan
1 year 1 month ago

About 6 months ago, I began abstaining from meat each Friday, in reparation for the victims of clergy sex abuse. I also pray for the faithful and holy priests that I am fortunate to know. . I also receive forgiveness and consolation each month through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. I also pray throughout each day not only for my "needs" as I perceive them but for the intentions of my family, friends, and residents and staff of the nursing home where I live. I will also "give up" a simple treat, such as limiting myself to a single cup of coffee each day during our morning Coffee Social. Finally, I agree with Father Martin that it's a good idea to perform acts of kindness. I have decided, as Pope Francis suggested in a recent homily, to be kind by not gossiping to others about the problem of obesity about which another resident is frequently mocked.

Tim Donovan
1 year 1 month ago

About 6 months ago, I began abstaining from meat each Friday, in reparation for the victims of clergy sex abuse. I also receive forgiveness and consolation each month through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. I also pray throughout each day not only for my "needs" as I perceive them but for the intentions of my family, friends, and residents and staff if the nursing home where I live. I will also "give up" a simple treat, such as l limiting myself to a single cup of coffee each day during our morning Coffee Social. Finally, I agree with Father Martin that it's a good idea to perform acts of kindness. I have decided, as Pope Francis suggested in a recent homily, to be kind by not gossiping to others about the problem of obesity that another resident is frequentky

Mike Macrie
1 year 1 month ago

Being Kind is something we all need to work on especially me.

Advertisement
More: Prayer

The latest from america

John Prine, who died on Tuesday, April 7, was one of country-folk music's greatest lyricists.
James T. KeaneApril 08, 2020
You are called to become obedient enough to serve the God who invites you to do seemingly very little. The God who himself apparently does nothing as the disease spreads.
Joe Hoover, S.J.April 08, 2020
Residents stand on a balcony as a South African National Defence Forces vehicle patrol the street, in Johannesburg on April 7. South Africa and more than half of Africa's 54 countries have imposed lockdowns, curfews, travel bans or other restrictions to try to contain the spread of COVID-19. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
The national measures being taken against the spread of the coronavirus in South Africa are unprecedented and are considered among the strictest in the world.
Anthony EganApril 08, 2020
A virus can keep us from gathering. A spirit-wound, it can curtail the sacramental life Christ gave us. But no virus can separate us from Christ.
Terrance KleinApril 08, 2020