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Put on Heartfelt Compassion...Wearing Faith

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St. Paul has awesome words of wisdom for us today. "Brothers and sisters: Put on, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if one has a grievance against another; as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do. And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection. And let the peace of Christ control your hearts, the peace into which you were also called in one Body. And be thankful."

I don't know about you but I could use this reminder every day of my life. And yet, as I think about it, I do have this reminder right in front of me every day that I rise. The crucifix on my wall should speak these very words. What he has done for us, we too must do. The crucifix is our reminder of perfect love.

The other day, my sister-in-law suddenly announced that she is having the parents' party for her daughter's class at her home soon. She is not Catholic and expressed a little worry about not having a crucifix in her home. We immediately offered choices from the store not even thinking, as I am now, that I really should have said something a little different. She is the type of person much like the one Paul challenges us to be today. As the parents enter her house, they will feel the love she has for her family. They will experience her kindness to open up her home as a place where they can feel comfortable and really get to know the other parents in their daughter's grade. She gives so much of her time and talent for her daughters' school, it's difficult not to appreciate the work of her hands and her heart. She says "yes" more than anyone I know when the school is in need of a volunteer. There are other parents in our school as well who constantly step up and help, and for these people, I am thankful. So, I should have said something more like, "You do not necessarily need a crucifix on your wall. Your actions speak volumes."

Sure, I love having Sacramentals in my home but I have to remember that they are just pretty things unless I actually use them as the church means us to use them, that is, as reminders. If I do not "put on, as God's chosen", if I do not wear my faith, all those beautiful Sacramentals are just a waste. I believe my sister-in-law may like having a crucifix in their home as a reminder, but their family certainly does not need to have one to express their Christianity. As the song goes, "They will know we are Christians by our love, by our love. Yes they'll know we are Christians by our love."

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