Images of Grace
I have been a nun for most of my adult life so I have mostly lived with women. Strange as it may seem, women are sometimes ‘narky’ and even difficult. At one stage in my life, I used to visit a community that had some ‘interesting’ members who would give their opinions in a free and forthright manner. A friend of mine was superior of that community and no matter how another person acted she always treated them well. A friendly, courteous, even gently humorous response would be given to words and actions that did not deserve them. I found her inspiring so one day I asked her about her behaviour. She told me that she had decided that no matter how another person acted, she would try to treat them with the respect due to a human being, and she would treat herself in the same way. She was no door mat for bad behaviour. It sometimes took great effort to do this. She had to prepare ‘good’ responses for expected bad behaviour and she had good friends to debrief with. The consequence was that she acted in a particularly graceful manner in difficult situations. She is one of my ‘pin-up nuns’.
We all know people like this- the ones who seem to be able to turn around difficult situations. They are ‘graces’ in our lives and, if it is possible, we should talk with them and ask them how they do it. It is not magic. They are wise people, who know how to access the grace of God that can transform the negative into something positive and life-giving.
Loving God, sometimes people are difficult – not only others but also us, even me. Send us your Spirit that we may gracefully turn our difficult situations and bad moods into something that gives life. We ask this in Jesus’ name, confident that you will hear us.