The virtue of the month for October in Challenge & Conquest is kindness. This virtue is one that is recognized by everyone in the world as a positive and admirable quality that a person can have. We can find great literary authors, historians, explorers and saints who all talk about how powerful a simple act of kindness can be. Mark Twain wrote, “Kindness is the virtue that the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” Washington Irving wrote, “How truly is a kind heart a fountain of gladness, making everything in its vicinity to freshen into smiles.” Mother Teresa once said, “ Kind words can be short and easy to speak but their echoes are truly endless.” Even Aesop wrote, “No act of kindness – however small – is wasted.”
Kindness fascinates people and warms hearts. It is a game changer in a person or a friend. Kindness is being gentle, thoughtful, helpful, and forgiving at times when it would be so easy to be angry. A kind word can conquer anger, calm the spirit, and even start a friendship. Small acts of kindness can go a long way. The kind look, gesture, or word can be as beneficial as the kind deed.
Christians should be ambassadors of kindness. The first Christians were known for the love and kindness they had for one another. This converted soldiers and rulers to follow the faith. Why do you think the Pope had such an impact on the leaders of nations and politicians here in the US? He brings down barriers by his kindness and love.
There is a pretty well known saying that kindness is just a little love with work boots on. Kindness is a result of a heart full of love. It is what happens when love is put into action. Last month’s virtue was charity and we said we should be asking the Holy Spirit to help us be more charitable because he is the spirit of love. In our Catholic faith, we have the 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit and the fruits of being close to the Holy Spirit. One of those fruits is kindness.
People are mean, entitled and lack kindness when they think they are better than other people. The YOUCAT # of the month for Challenge and Conquest speaks about how every human being is equally loved by God and should be treated with respect, love and kindness. #330: To what extent are all men equal in God’s sight? All men are equal in God’s sight insofar as all have the same Creator, all were created in the same image of God with a rational soul, and all have the same Redeemer. Every person possesses the same dignity and same human rights.
Pope Francis speaks often about loving our neighbor and being examples of Christian kindness. The most extreme expression of kindness is forgiveness, especially when you have been wronged. “From the cross, Christ teaches us to love even those who do not love us.”
This month, let’s try a few of those random acts of kindness that we hear about. Let’s be kind to people who do not expect it and if necessary to those who have hurt us.