“There is an infallible way to defeat evil: by starting to conquer it within yourself.”
The past week was full of minor annoyances and mishaps throughout my personal and professional life. There wasn't anything catastrophic or even worth describing in detail, but as the week marched on toward Friday, I felt like Chicken Little worried more and more about the entire sky falling. I decided as CEO of Catholic Leadership Institute and the Director of Keeping it Real at the Cellucci Family that I needed to - no, in fact I had a moral obligation to - email some profound missives and deliver a few insightful lectures to provide the much needed direction, stability, and unique wisdom that apparently only I could provide. As I enumerated the various actions and messages I would be employing to a friend of mine one night, he listened graciously and then offered, "Dan, they all sound like the right things to say, but are you saying them for the right reason?" Initially taken aback at the lack of support, I expressed my surprise at his questioning of my motives. My friend pressed on, "Sounds like you're pushing for something you want more than providing something they need." It was both, but my friend was right. I clicked delete on my draft missive and decided to start the weekend a little earlier.
As I sat and listened to our Lord’s caution to the Pharisees and scribes this Sunday, I couldn’t help but think that perhaps the source of my angst wasn’t so much the external annoyances that seemed to be popping up all around me, but the narrowness of my view that wouldn’t allow me to see anything but them. How often do I shake my fist at the world and what it’s "doing to me" as opposed to reflecting upon what I am putting into the world? Whether it’s what I post or repost, what I say in the meeting (or the parking lot after the meeting) or even what I write in these Monday emails, what matters more – the quality of what I offer or the reason why I offer it? It’s easy to proofread our words and actions. It’s much harder to edit our hearts. As we seek to do what the Lord asks of us this week, let’s pray we do not only the right things but the right things for the right reasons.