One of the single biggest obstacles in my spiritual life on a daily basis continues to be one of the biggest precepts of Christianity: treating others with equal love and concern for their interests as I have for my own. Regardless of whatever mental preparation I try to undertake at the beginning of the day, later on when I’m in the heat of the moment, so to speak, the backbone of my good manners and high moral aspirations seems to buckle under the weight of personality conflict, resentment, and mood. Much less a thought-out and prepared stance than a knee-jerk and involuntary reaction, I often find myself reeling with regret after having to navigate through the murky waters of inter-personal conflict. I recognize the problem, but, am at a loss when it comes to a solution. If anyone reading this post happens to have one, I’m all ears. In the meantime, I will continue to breathe, live, and pray with the knowledge that God’s grace is my only sure hope.
From the May 29 page from Brennan Manning’s REFLECTIONS FOR RAGAMUFFINS, Pp.150:
The rabbi implores, “Don’t you understand that discipleship is not about being right or being perfect or being efficient? It’s all about the way you live with one another.” The success or failure of a given day is measured by the quality of our interest and compassion toward those around us. We define ourselves by our response to human need. The question is not how we feel about our neighbor but what we have done for him or her. We reveal the person who delivers mail, bear an injury, and share our resources with the indigent.
But I, with a song of thanksgiving,
will sacrifice to you,
What I have vowed I will make good.