In the little book of Jesuit prayers entitled Hearts on Fire, I opened this morning at random to one called “Prayer of Reconciliation.” I was interested in what the prayer said about the mental process that can quickly lead to blame in our dealing with others as well as our judgment of their motivations. When we come from a place of difference or separation it becomes easy to denigrate the other while shoring up a skewed sense of our own innocence or righteousness. We would do well to carry a small mirror with us (if only a virtual one) to look into our own eyes and see the love that is God’s Spirit looking back at us before we judge another.
Lord Christ, help us to see what it is that joins us together, not what separates us. For when we see only what it is that makes us different, we too often become aware of what is wrong with others. We see only their faults and weaknesses, interpreting their actions as flowing from malice or hatred rather than fear. Even when confronted with evil, Lord, you forgave and sacrificed yourself rather than sought revenge. Teach us to do the same by the power of your Spirit. (William Breault, S.J.)