Kindness 101: A Lesson on Gratitude

Blog by Associate Mary Ellen George, OPA

On an evening newscast, the feature story was about an “On the Road” reporter who was teaching an interactive, online class to students of all ages:  Kindness 101.  Students from all around the country tuned in to learn about heroism and “how heroes today are wearing all different kinds of uniforms.  Their assignment for the week was to pick one of these new heroes and thank them in any way they could.”

Some students immediately got on the phone and called everyone from the pharmacist to the fire chief to nurses.  Others went outside and used chalk to post messages on driveway asphalt, writing thank you messages to postal workers and delivery care workers for their service.  One little girl even extended a thank you note on a long pole up to a sanitation worker sitting in his truck, who was visibly moved by a seldom-given thank you in his line of work.

In these difficult times with the COVID-19 crisis, we can find many individual heroes—doctors, nurses, pharmacists, medical technicians, custodians, distribution warehouse workers, food service and grocery store workers, and many others.  We can also find heroes and witness goodness in the people around us.  We can each show kindness to ourselves and to each other as we face and move through this crisis together.  Kindness is a friend that gives us hope in the darkness and shines a light on the beauty of the human spirit.

During a time when so much is beyond our control showing kindness and gratitude is something we can do.  We can spread positive thoughts, uplifting messages, inspirational words to bless those who have blessed us.  We can be instruments of God’s peace, holding each other in prayer and embodying the prayer of St. Francis.

As we enter into Holy Week next week and reflect on the Stations of the Cross, we see two acts of kindness extended to Jesus as he carried his cross.  First, Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus carry his cross and then Veronica wipes the face of Jesus of his blood and sweat.  These acts of kindness speak of the compassion we are capable of especially during troubling times.  Whatever cross we may be carrying or have yet to carry, let us lighten each other’s hearts with kindness as we pray this Celtic blessing:

Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every [person] who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.”

Click here to listen and view a video of another rendition of this prayer.

Maybe you have heard the voice of God calling you to be Christ to others as a religious sister.  If so, contact one of our Vocation Ministers to begin the first step in answering this call.

Posted in God Calling?, News

2 responses to “Kindness 101: A Lesson on Gratitude

  1. DEAR MARY ELLEN,
    WOW, WHAT A HOPEFUL REFLECTION YOU GAVE TO ALL OF US. THANK YOU SO MUCH. WE NEVER STOP LEARNING HOW WONDERFUL PEOPLE CAN BE AND BE TO ONE ANOTHER.
    GOD BLESS YOU FOR THIS BLOG!
    LOVE,
    SR. BRIGID

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