Tough Though It Is Out There, Our Job In Life Is To Resist Evil By Remaining Positive
[adapted from Michael Brown's The God of Miracles]
It's a tough time out there -- and getting tougher -- but our job is to be positive. We live at a time when many have grown cold, egotistical (everyone is a big shot), and rude. How are we supposed to keep our equilibrium at a time when others attack us?
Not dwelling on the negative means searching to understand and making sure that we view very situation from the other personís perspective (before responding).
Is it tough? Very.
To slough off agitation, even insult, takes humility.
But it is an absolutely vital component in the spiritual walk and often the results are immediate.
Grace flows to the humble, lubricating the miraculous.
God hears those who have lowered themselves.
Humility is the great guard against the devil.
"The Lord sustains the humble but casts the wicked to the ground," says Psalms 147:6. "He mocks proud mockers but gives grace to the humble," adds Proverbs 3:34.
Humility is to evil as water is to fire.
We must always be careful not to judge because when we criticize we are prevented from being children of God. To criticize is to grow in pride. Love, humility, and compassion, on the other hand, conquer darkness.
When we humble ourselves -- which means to dispel ego -- we place God first, and this allows Him room to work. There is even a health benefit: the more humble we are, the more even-tempered we become, and better is the chance we have of softening our arteries (which respond to stress), bolstering our immunity, and lowering our blood pressure.
When I said that hardness of spirit could translate into hardness of heart, I recall the example of a friendís sister. After her husband left her, she took the bitter route, her hatred for him soon growing into a hatred of others Ė even members of her family.
Her demeanor literally turned hard, expressing itself in a coronary attack that left her with only a quarter of her heart functioning (when she was still only it her thirties). Her heart had grown so hard that it fractured.
Negativity stiffens us and saps our energy while a positive, humble demeanor fortifies us and physically protects us. True, there are people who are born with certain temperaments and find it hard to restrain their emotions. This may be their "cross." But everyone is called to reign in anger, and humility allows us to go outside of ourselves and do just that -- at which point we can positively view a circumstance.
When you encounter a person you want to dislike, step back, erase your negative thoughts, and replace them with understanding. If you encounter a person who is slow, exercise patience. If someone insults you, pray for that person. You could be his salvation! And only with prayer do some negative thoughts stop bothering us. Itís like God is prompting us to pray for a person through the very aggravation the person has caused!
This takes practice Ė lots of it -- but the most beneficial things are usually the most difficult. And itís exactly what the Lord wants from us. If thereís a person who rankles you, who you just donít like being around, whom you have antipathy toward, imagine that person as an infant. Reflect on what the person looked like when he or she was a week old, or a month, or as a toddler. Hold that person in your arms as a child. Youíll see your attitude change. If itís someone close to you who is causing the irritation, reflect on how you would feel if that person were suddenly gone. Mentally embrace those who irk you until it comes easy to you.
If you want to be in tune with God, you have to see as He does and He sees us all as children.
That means if we encounter someone who is rude or awkward, like Dr. Storm, we should reflect on the reason why that person may be rude. Might it be something that occurred in childhood? Is he or she suffering unseen physical ailments? Anytime someone is rude, angry, intemperate, insulting, or violent, it grants us the opportunity to pray for that person, which immediately erases the sting from such behavior.
Donít take evil personally. Fight it, resist it, but donít let attacks from the dark side become your obsession. When we respond to the devil, and allow him to engage our emotions, we have opened communication with him. Do you really want to be in touch with the devil?
[resources: The God of Miracles]
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The Imitation of Mary, by Abbe Alexander de Rouville. No sooner had the incomparable Imitation of Christ appeared than the faithful began to spontaneously wish for an imitation of Our Lady, and finally, in 1768, a monk pulled together a little powerhouse of meditation on the different mysteries and circumstances of her life, from the Immaculate Conception to her Assumption into Heaven! click here