What is the virtue of Kindness?
Happy Thursday Ladies! These last few days we discovered how envy can rob us of our joy and can be a slow killer of our relationships and friendships. Let’s tap into the combating virtue that can help us against envy.
Kindness (along with Gratitude). I want to incorporate gratitude in here as well because I feel it also plays a very important role in helping us divert our focus properly.
In the Catholic Exchange I found a really great article that defined kindness. “Kindness is being gentle, thoughtful, helpful, and forgiving at times when it would be so easy to be angry [or envious]. It also displays the same virtues when the sheer inconvenience of the situation would seem to justify non-involvement. Kindness much prefers considerateness to anger, and leaps enthusiastically over the barriers of inconvenience. The kind person persists in behaving humanly no matter how irresistibly circumstances may tempt him to behave otherwise” (Demarco, D., “Virtue of kindness”).
When we fall into envy, it becomes an active battle in order to catch our reactions towards those around us in order to be free from this vice. Every time we become aware, we have a choice. We can continue to act in envy and become even more robbed of our joy, or we can choose to be kind. This is also where gratitude can help us out as well.
The virtue of gratitude is being thankful for what we have. When we actively pursue that virtue, our focus no longer becomes centered on ourselves, but rather becomes focused on the other person. Envy brings the focus on us, which is also why it is called the “daughter of pride.” Gratitude combats that self-centeredness and brings us back to serving the other and also being in the present moment.
Like any other virtue, it is a habit we need to learn and grow into. It may feel hard at first but one thing I found helped me a lot was starting off my evening prayer with gratitude. I started praying the Evening Examin prayer by St. Ignatious of Loyola, and it begins with you stating things you are grateful for from today. Sometimes it might seem hard to find but push yourself to find at least one thing in your day that you are thankful for. The more I practiced this in my prayer life, the more I was able to incorporate it into my daily life and relationships.
Find one thing today my dear ladies, one thing that you are thankful for! And I also challenge you to ask the Holy Spirit to bring to mind one person who you can send a kind word to. A simple complement or word of encouragement. When we learn to reach for kind words first, it becomes much harder for envy to take a hold of us.
Come Holy Spirit and teach us how to be kind and grateful.
Walking together, Sandra