It is inevitable that occasionally we clash with those with whom we live. There is an art however that can help us live more serenely with others. This is the art of not judging.
Two Buddhist priests were going back to their convent when they reached a river which they had to cross. They noticed that there was a fine-looking young girl who was hesitating crossing the river. So the younger priest without thinking it over, approached her, lifted her on his shoulders and crossed the river carrying this young girl. When they reached the river’s shore, he put her down, she thanked him and everyone went his own way.
The older monk was appalled at the younger priest’s unbecoming behaviour, and so whilst they were alone, he started droning and telling off his companion, “You should be ashamed of yourself, what an embarrassment, people will talk about us, this is not the right behaviour, how upsetting, you young monks are not prudent at all, as soon as we arrive at the convent I will report this case to the superior, just think about the bad thoughts you will have now…” and on and on he went!
The young monk did not say a word, the more so because the older priest did not give him the chance to say anything! But when he finally stopped to take a breath, the younger priest turned to him and said, “Brother, why are you still carrying that girl? I put her down more than two hours ago…”
Do not harbour the past. Three times in my life I had a serious case of food poisoning. And every time the reason was because I warmed up the food of the day before. Gosh, I remember spending the night awake, feeling sick, throwing up and… Terrible! I learnt the hard way not eat yesterday’s food… not just physically.
One day, Jesus went to the Father and told him: “Father, I have been here in Heaven now for a long time. I need a change of air. Give me something to do in the world!” The Father gave him a huge mallet and told him to go and flatten all the mountains and hills. Jesus set out on this task but after one thousand years he went back and said, “Father, I finished that task. Now the world is all level. Do you have another job to give me?” This time the Father gave him a water pump and told him to empty all the water from the seas and the rivers of the world. It took him two thousand years to do this but finally he managed to dry up everywhere. “Father, would you have a work that would take longer, a trade that would occupy all my time?”
“Yes, I have,” replied the Father, “what about going around and trying to convince the people on the need to love one another.”
Well, Jesus left to undertake this task and apparently it is taking him longer than foreseen. He is still working on it!
There are many lives out there that creak and squeak and grate harshly day by day. They need lubricating with the oil of kindness and thoughtfulness. We shall be helping Jesus in his task if we use the oil constantly.
(c) Fr. Pius Sammut, OCD. Permission is hereby granted for any non-commercial use, provided that the content is unaltered from its original state, if this copyright notice is included.