Oooohhhh… here is where it gets good. The crescendo, the rising action, the bridge of the song. St. Paul is about to lay the smack down in the most wonderful of ways.
For the last 11 Chapters, Paul has been setting the stage for the Romans. He has discussed what fallen humanity has caused and how Jesus has restored our salvation. And for the most part, these chapters have been incredibly theological. Paul is logical and philosophical (sometimes to my intellectual demise…), however, here comes the practical application of his letter. Paul has taught us about ourselves and our salvation, and now he is going to teach us how to live well in gratitude of the Gospel. These last sections that we will close out our study with are the, “reality check…” the “gut check…” the “game-changer…” the “plot thickener…” okay, you get the point.
Oh, I’m so excited, because what St. Paul has to say is just so good. Okay, enough clamoring, let us begin.
A friend of mine posted a Tweet a few weeks ago that rocked me. It was simple, but struck a chord in my heart.
“Evil grows in proportion to our apathy.”
I’ve been struggling recently with a relationship of mine. It’s so difficult to see through eyes of compassion when you hold someone’s wrongdoings over their head. That was exactly what I was doing when I saw this Tweet. I was struggling to feel for this person because I was allowing bitterness and disappointment to take root and grow in my heart.
St. Paul calls us out on this one in Romans: “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 21).
And just how can I do these things?
St. Paul suggests it is through compassion. “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty…”
But, oooh how difficult.
As women, I think the area we struggle with this the most is in comparison of ourselves with other women. Whether or not it is about looks or talent, there is always something: we envy their home, happy marriage, well-behaving children, good job, financial status, ability to write beautifully, speak eloquently, and the list goes on… There is always something. At least, there is always something for me.
I’ve learned after the thousandth spiritual punch in the gut (thanks Holy Spirit), that the easiest way to root out jealously is to notice when I am being judgmental. And the easiest way to root out judgment is to pray for those whom I’m judgmental of: To have compassion and care for them as sisters, to actively seek to grow in good relationship with them and truly see them as God does.
It’s a long road, but so worth it.
Today, take about 10 minutes (or whatever your schedule allows) and pray a decade (or more) of the rosary for that one woman whom you struggle to love well. Maybe it’s jealousy or judgment, maybe it’s a past wrongdoing that you can’t seem to shake. Whatever it may be, pray for her. Ask Our Lady to intercede in the best way she knows how — as a Lady of Grace.
Mama Mary, please teach us how to be virtuous, loving, caring, and compassionate women. May we be just like you! Amen.