In our Legion of Mary meetings, the virtue that we are reminded of continually, the one that will be the surest path to saving souls is Kindness..
How many opportunities do we have each day to practice the virtue of Kindness within the home…with our spouse and our children. We need not go anywhere else to practice this one!
If we reflect upon it, kindness is but the outcome and exemplar of the divine precept: “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” There is nothing we personally so much appreciate as kindness.
We like others to think of us kindly, to speak to us kindly, and to render us kindly actions and in a kindly manner.
Now we should know how to put ourselves in the place of others, and thus we should testify to them that kindliness that we value so much ourselves.
When our divine Lord came down upon earth, He came not only to save us by shedding His blood for us, but to teach us by His example how to cooperate with Him in extending the kingdom of His Father.
And one of the most powerful means which He employed for this purpose was kindness, gentleness and forbearance. “The goodness and kindness of God our Savior appeared,” by which words we learn that kindness is not altogether synonymous with goodness, but, as it were, a luster, a bloom, an attraction superadded to it.
We might regard this sweet reflection from the Heart of Jesus from many points of view, but it is especially under one aspect that we have been considering it; namely, as a powerful weapon in our hands for the efficacious exercise of our apostolate.
Kindly thoughts of others will be productive of prayer in their regard, at once fervent and affectionate– prayer such as the loving Heart of Jesus willingly listens to; kindly words and deeds will draw souls to the love of Him whose spirit they behold so attractively reproduced in His members.
As the wood-violets give forth their perfume from beneath the brushwood that conceals them from dew, telling us of their unseen nearness, so kindness reveals to us the nearness of Jesus, the sweetness of Whose spirit is thus breathed forth.
Such is the kindness which is that great missioner sent by the Heart of Jesus to exercise an apostolate of love upon earth, and so to promote the glory of God and the salvation of souls. To exercise this apostolate will be the endeavor of all true lovers of the divine Heart, and thus they will reproduce and perpetuate the life of the Heart of Jesus upon earth, so that it may be said of them: “The goodness and kindness of God our Savior has appeared” in His members.
Our Lord and Savior wishes us to face the thought of judgment without undue terror or excitement. And therefore whilst He has revealed its terrors, He has not made it appear difficult to prepare for it.
He has, as is usual with Him, pointed to one or two very common duties, and has promised that if we are faithful in these, the Judgment may be awaited with confidence. “Judge not, and you shall not be judged.” To judge others means to dwell uncharitably on the faults and weaknesses of our neighbor –or, what is worse, to reveal them and comment upon them.
It is one of the commonest of sins. It is found among all ranks and degrees, wherever there is conversation. It is found within the walls of convents almost as much– though not perhaps to such a serious degree– as in the drawing-room and the cottage.
To strive to repress unkind conversation and unkind feeling is to be in earnest in loving God with our whole heart. Therefore, it is to secure for ourselves safety in the day of Judgment.
THE GOLDEN RULE
“As you do to others, so also will My Heavenly Father do to you.” This refers to kind actions.
In order, therefore, to make sure of safety at the Judgment, we cannot do better than study to show kindness to one another.
If rich and well-to-do people are kind, they are safe; but the kindness must be true kindness. It must be a kindness that is anxious for the immortal souls which our heavenly Father chiefly longs for– which gives or procures instruction, sacraments, and good example.
It must be a kindness which not only bestows money, but also comforting words and wise intercourse; a kindness which not only gives what is superfluous to the giver, but is given at the cost of sacrifice and trouble. –Bishop Hedley.
As you would that men should do to you, do you also to them in like manner. –Luke vi. 31.
“She who is the dear Mother of us all will teach you by the silent voice of her example, how to bring the light of heaven down into your home, the generosity of the children of God into the discharge of your every occupation, and the sweet spirit of Christ to ennoble your toil, to brighten your care and your suffering.” Fr. Bernard O’Reilly, 1893