Jesus said to his disciples: "Stop judging,
that you may not be judged. For as you judge,
so will you be judged, and the measure with which
you measure will be measured out to you. Why do
you notice the splinter in your brother´s eye, but do
not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye? How
can you say to your brother, ´Let me remove that
splinter from your eye,´ while the wooden beam is in
your eye? You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your
eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the
splinter from your brother´s eye."
I believe in the power of prayer, Lord. This time
spent with you is the most important time of my
day. Let me be confident of your presence and your
love, in order to take full advantage of these privileged
Petition: Lord, help me to rid
myself of judgmental attitudes.
1. Judge Not:
Judging others is a national pastime. It is so easy
to pick out the faults of others -- to see
their defects. It can make us feel superior. Yet, focusing
on the faults of others can often distract us from
our own failings. We tend to see in others the
very faults of which we ourselves are guilty. That is
why a husband who spends endless hours on Internet might
complain about the amount of time his wife spends at
the shopping mall. What do I complain about the most?
Could I be guilty of the same fault?
2. Cool Silence: Our Lord doesn´t dissuade us from
trying to help others to improve. In fact, fraternal correction
can be a form of charity if -- big if
-- done charitably (see Matthew 18:15). Indeed, instructing the uninformed
is a spiritual work of mercy. Unfortunately, for the sake
of being "cool," we often keep quiet as others wallow
in sin. Christ isn´t inviting us to be indifferent in
the face of a loved one´s faults. The opposite of
love is not hatred, but indifference. Am I afraid to
guide those whom the Lord has entrusted to my care?
Do I remain quiet in order to "keep the peace"?
On Judgment Day we will have to answer for our
sins of omission (see Luke 19:20-24).
Our Wooden Beam: We are all called to holiness. Life
is but a brief opportunity to grow in holiness before
we step into eternity. What we do here dictates the
state of our eternal reward or punishment. That is why
we have to be on guard against growing accustomed to
our faults. God doesn´t want us to be mediocre. He
wants us to struggle against our weaknesses. Am I actively
trying to get rid of a vice? The best way
to drive out a bad habit is to form a
good habit. Am I eating too much? Then form the
habit of smaller desserts. Am I short-tempered with my spouse?
Then do a special act of charity for him or
her each day.
Conversation with Christ: Life
is short, Lord, and I need to grasp the importance
of each day as an opportunity to grow in holiness.
Let me put more effort into criticizing myself rather than
others. Help me to see truthfully where my worst faults
Resolution: I will say something nice
to the last person I criticized or spoke badly about.