“Agape, the love of each one of us for the other, from the closest to the furthest, is in fact the only way that Jesus has given us to find the way of salvation and of the Beatitudes.”
Recently, I was the subject of a nastygram that inevitably made its way to my inbox. I’ve gotten my fair share of uncharitable correspondence in my day, but with this one I found myself dumbfounded and hurt by the author’s tone and insinuations. In the large scheme of life, the subject matter was completely trivial. While intellectually I knew that, my pride wouldn’t accept that fact, and so it began. First I whined to my wife. Then to a few colleagues. Then to my best friend in Massachusetts. Then to some friends in the parking lot after Mass on Sunday. Before I knew it, I was trying to figure out how to type the story in Italian to my cousin in Rome who simply asked me how I was. My equally uncharitable reaction nearly made it across the Atlantic within days of the initial incident. As I flopped onto the couch even more dejected about the matter, I grunted to my wife, "I mean, can you believe that person?" She looked at me with a slightly exasperated look and said, "Honestly, what I can’t believe is how many people you’ve told about it." It was then that I realized, I might not have been the source of the hurt, but I was the source of its spread.
It made me wonder, if I were to trace the ripples of my actions in a given week, how far would they go? More importantly, what would one find at the end of them? Regardless of what I might receive, what do I spread? Nobody would tell me I was unjustified in my anger, but nor would they hold me up as a follower of Christ for my response. Whether it’s what we might say or share, text or type, will it feed our pride or find our Lord proud? Prayers as you trace your contacts back to Him this week.