Christmas Eve Prayer
"Give us, O God, the vision which can see Your love in the world in spite of human failure.
Give us the faith to trust Your goodness in spite of our ignorance and weakness.
Give us the knowledge that we may continue to pray with understanding hearts.
And show us what each one of us can do to set forward the coming of the day of universal peace." ~ Frank Borman, Apollo 8 space mission, 1968
Challenge: Don't judge others, spread peace and love. Smile at everyone you meet.
“Judge nothing, you will be happy. Forgive everything, you will be happier. Love everything, you will be happiest.” ~Sri Chinmoy
Our journey. Our growth. On this path of faith, we are all looking to "work on our stuff", "to grow and learn and find oneself". Whatever you may call it, it is all the same. We are on this journey together.
A pattern we can easily fall into without realizing it, is to judge others because they are not in the same place. They aren't going to church, they aren't praying the rosary, they aren't saying nice things and the list can go on! When we are seeking to change ourselves and grow, we tend to comment and seek change in others. We think we know what is right for the other person. When the truth is we are trying to figure out what is right for us.
This criticizing behavior for the most part is keeping us from discerning our own behavior. It is a distraction from what we need to hear and learn for our own growth.
We need to be aware of these thoughts, become more knowledgeable about our internal criticizers and pray. Hopefully our judgments will diminish. We must keep control of our tongue and our thoughts. Once you stop worrying about and judging everyone else, your mind and your body will have this extra space and energy it needs to allow further growth.
We also will realize that those criticizing thoughts were not only about others but are a constant stream of internal dialogue that is critical of ourselves. Pay attention, be kind to others and be kind to yourself! "Your outer world is a reflection of the inner world".
When we judge others it is an extension of self-judgment. Sometimes we don't even recognize what we are doing. So pull back the curtain and look within. Look deep, sit and listen. Start the path of being nonjudgmental today. Smile at everyone you meet and hold your tongue and ask God to change those thoughts.
A priest once told me in confession, "when you think of that person, think of their best quality, this will take the place of the negative thought or feeling you are feeling"
Change is difficult but with the help of God we can do this. Say your prayers and ask for the strength to change the patterns of your thoughts and give praise to others and to yourselves.
Prayerful Path/Mary Maddox