“Always interpret everything in the most favorable light”

Wise words for a Monday morning, from Bishop David Zubik of Pittsburgh.  It’s something we all need to hear these days:

We are called to live love, to reflect that Divine Love we remember in Divine Mercy Sunday. It is a love that calls us to mercy, and that calls us to charity which is Divine Love and Mercy lived.

Particularly during the Easter season, an armistice on the rush to judgment might be called. We have lived again in those last few days of the Lenten season the greatest rush to judgment in humanity’s history. An innocent Jesus is arrested, tried, beaten, paraded through the streets and brutally crucified. Humanity judges the Son of Man and rushes to his execution.

In warning about missing that beam in our own eye, Jesus warns us not to judge. He is not telling us to tolerate sin. But he is reminding us not to rush into judgment. He is telling us our lives are meant to be lived not in pointing fingers, but in charity that doesn’t ask before it serves, doesn’t lecture before it ministers, doesn’t judge before it heals.

Imagine if Jesus was so quick to judge as I seem to do, as we seem to do, far too often. What would He have said then to the 10 Apostles who ran away and hid rather than keep watch under his cross? Or to Peter who denied him not once, not twice, but three times? Or To Mary Magdalene who first did not recognize him as the Risen Savior? Or to the disciples on the road to Emmaus who failed to understand what had happened on that first Easter?

In the maxims of the Sisters of St. Joseph attributed to the order’s founder, Father Jean Pierre Medaille, he reminds his congregation in the Eucharist Letter to “always interpret everything in the most favorable light.”

It is a good maxim for all of us. Something we should all keep in mind as we go through our daily pilgrimage. I know that I will try to remember it.

Paul’s words always come back to us: “If I have all faith … but have not love, I am nothing.” Love is at the core of Christian belief because God is love. God asks us to love Him and love our neighbors. In the Eucharist we are given the grace to live out that love.

Read it all. It’s worth it.

Comments

  1. “Love is at the core of Christian belief because God is love. God asks us to love Him and love our neighbors. In the Eucharist we are given the grace to live out that love.”
    Amen to that!

  2. St. Ignatius sets out a similar injunction at the beginning of the Spiritual Exercises:

    “It is necessary to suppose that every good Christian is more ready to put a good interpretation on another’s statement than to condemn it as false.”

    There is more advice about what to do when you don’t agree. It’s all worth taking, and worth asking oneself before entering into the fray of the com boxes. Very few of my own comments in contentious conversations reach this level, and it feels to me as if the general approach in many difficult situations is to do precisely the opposite: assume the worst.

  3. naturgesetz says:

    “He is telling us our lives are meant to be lived not in pointing fingers, but in charity that doesn’t ask before it serves, doesn’t lecture before it ministers, doesn’t judge before it heals.”

    I am so tempted to point fingers at people who might see this type of talk as favoring “sensitivity” and “welcoming” at the expense of truth, and accuse the bishop of Protestantism.

    But they haven’t done so — yet. So I’ll just encourage readers of this blog to be as accepting of these thoughts when they emanate from a deacon from a parish in the west or from a commenter on this blog.

  4. Mark Greta says:

    How about what this same Bishop said about the HHS mandate attack on religious freedom by the Obama administration. You see, you have to stand up to grave evil which is something that many Catholics seem to get confused with the secular religion of tolerance even to grave evil. So here is what he said about that grave evil.

    The new federal contraception mandate is “like a slap in the face” that says “To Hell with you!” to Catholics and religious freedom, Bishop David A. Zubik of Pittsburgh said.

    “This is government by fiat that attacks the rights of everyone – not only Catholics; not only people of all religion. At no other time in memory or history has there been such a governmental intrusion on freedom not only with regard to religion, but even across-the-board with all citizens,” Bishop Zubik wrote in the Jan. 27 edition of the Pittsburgh Catholic.

    “Kathleen Sebelius (Health and Human Services Secretary) and through her, the Obama administration, have said ‘To Hell with You’ to the Catholic faithful of the United States,” he charged, adding that the administration has damned Catholics’ religious beliefs, religious liberty and freedom of conscience.

  5. Precisely. It isn’t just that Ignatius sets out a similar injunction (in Annotation 22 of the Spiritual Exercises), it is that as a Jesuit Medaille was steeped in Ignatian spirituality.

  6. Deacon Greg Kandra says:

    “Mark Greta”…

    Old news. I posted that very comment from Bishop Zubik when he first made it some weeks back, and I also quoted from it in a homily that received wide circulation.

    Dcn. G.

  7. Mark Greta:
    Thank you for reminding me of Bishop Zubik’s “to hell with you” comment about Obama’s federal contraception mandate in January.

    In his homily delivered on Divine Mercy Sunday posted above, he quotes the founder of the Sisters of St. Joseph, Father Jean Pierre Medaille, who wrote ‘always interpret everything in the most favorable light.’”

    Then Bishop Zubik says: “It is a good maxim for all of us. Something we should all keep in mind as we go through our daily pilgrimage. I know that I will try to remember it.”

    It makes me think that indeed it is possible for all of us to have a conversion of heart.

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