So much easier for us to find fault in others than to find something good to say. That’s why we have wars. The negative wins out because we allow the negative to win.
On any given day there are more blessings than bad things. One negative cancels 99 positives. Our attention focuses on the bad, especially the bad in others. Could have had a wonderful vacation, no one got sick, enjoyed the time off work, no major disagreements—but because the tire blew out—the vacation did not meet expectations. Usually, we gravitate to a reality about which we can do nothing—like the weather; the time; who didn’t show up. Since we are all wounded by other wounded folks, we keep repeating the same patterns. That’s why Jesus preached the Gospel, in order to break the destructive patterns. We should all get a full-length mirror and stand naked before it and either have ourselves a good laugh or a good cry. Not many people can look at themselves and face facts. Jesus invites us to look at ourselves for who we are, not who we think we want to be, but who we are. That’s the first step to spiritual maturity—acceptance. Countless numbers live in denial. Regrets cause us to be judgmental. Depression, which is anger turned inward, causes us to be judgmental. Not being happy with who we are causes us to be judgmental. Therefore, without pointing fingers at anybody, we need to look at ourselves first.
“But there’s nothing wrong with me. If everyone in the world was like me, there would not be any problems. I should clone myself.” However, God made us all unique. No one is a mistake. Each person is one of a kind. Not even identical twins are exactly the same. There is beauty in diversity. Yet, we cannot see the beauty if we are looking only at the negative. The challenge is to look beyond our prejudice. “Remove the wooden beam from you eye first, then you will see clearly to remove the splinter in your brother’s eye.” The key is to be able to see. Often past hurts blind us to the potential good in others. The same blindness blocks our own potential. We begin to think less of ourselves, always putting ourselves down, slow to accept compliments. God wants just the opposite. He calls us to see Him inside of us so that we can see Him in our brothers and sisters. We originate in Christ, but we forget. We think that somehow, we have reached what we have, what we know and who we are through our own merit. We are here because of God’s grace. We dare not call anything that God has made a mistake.
Some voices that we hear are not from God, particularly the ones that are negative. God loves us more than we can possibly imagine. He loves us more than our parents. God loves us even when we sin. We cannot always say that about each other. We place conditions. Unless folks live us to our expectations, we stop our relationship with them. God will never do that to us. His love is unconditional. Every human should have the words “Handle with care” written across the forehead. If we cared for others more than ourselves the world would be a better place, beginning in our families. Judgement calls would cease. There would be no more condemnation. No violence. Those are the commandments that Jesus gave us. He directed all the attention that was dedicated to feeling sorry for our sins to the feeling empathy for people. Consider how much importance we give to ritual, getting the words correctly, making a proper genuflection—and we forget about greeting folks. People get ignored because we are too busy. A phone call gets priority over the person in front of us. Whatever evils have crept into our lives are the ones we have allowed. There is no one to blame for our negligence. Evil is not just happening where bombs are used; evil is in our heart when we judge each other.
Peace begins with me. Peace begins with you. Jesus offers us healing through His Eucharist.