From the desk of Fr Stephen
As we know, we need to go through a process for many things in life. For instance, this is the springtime of the year. At this time, many people are in the habit of planting things. It could be a vegetable garden, roses, or just pruning trees. But there is a process to it. If you plant a garden, you need first to select an area and then dig out the area to remove all weeds and grass. Then you need to put some fertilizer around the area and put in your plant. Once the plant is in, you need to water the plant and weed and hoe around it periodically. The better you follow this process, the better your plants will be. A person who does this regularly knows exactly what to do. In a sense, they not only plant the plants, but plant a culture of planting. It becomes a way of life for that person. They might consider themselves a gardener because they have devoted so much time and energy to the process.
In the same way, we need to have a process for becoming good Christian people. If we want to develop a culture of Christianity, we need to work at it. One virtue that we might cultivate for ourselves is the quality of kindness. Like planting vegetables in the garden, you can’t just plant the vegetables and then leave them alone. You need to pull weeds and water them regularly; otherwise, they are bound to die. With a virtue like kindness, you need to do the same thing. You cannot just wake up one morning and say to yourself, “I think I am going to be kind today.” It must become a way of life that is practiced every day; otherwise, it just becomes something we do just when we feel like it.
When we take the time to work on a virtue like kindness, there is something about it that spreads itself outward to others. If a person chooses to be kind every day, that kindness is bound to spread itself to others. If we are kind in all matters, it tends to make the people around us more willing to be kind. Kindness changes people and believe me; the world needs a lot of change. The world needs people who will stand up amid chaos, war, oppression and be kind. It is not to say we condone sin, but we work with the person in all kindness to change their minds.
I do believe we can cultivate kindness to such a degree that it becomes part of our culture. I say this not for the world at large, although that would be remarkable, but let’s start here at home. I want to develop here at the ROCK a culture of kindness. I want everyone who walks through our doors to be overwhelmed with the kindness they experience. If each one of us is bound to treating one another with kindness, what a difference that would make in our world.