People of Goodwill


“When I see someone else’s good, I rejoice at it as if it were mine. The joy of others is my joy, and the suffering of others is my suffering, for otherwise I would not dare to commune with the Lord Jesus”.
(St. Maria Faustina Kowalska - Diary No. 633)


The People of Goodwill
In this short excerpt from St Faustina’s Diary, it challenges us to reflect on our internal attitudes to others. Does other people’s happiness and joy cause you anger and envy, or are you happy for them? When you see them suffer, do you feel compassion and want to help alleviate their suffering, even if only with a kind word, or do you secretly rejoice that they are suffering, and maybe even want to add to their suffering?

To Dare to Talk to Jesus
But this goodwill of Saint Faustina goes one step further. She tells us that if we cannot communicate with each other in love and compassion, how can we dare to communicate with Jesus? If we are always backbiting, or gossiping about our neighbour; if we are always finding faults in others, how then can we turn to Him and dare to communicate with Him?

Humility, Humility, Humility
In truth, we all have faults and failing. Nobody goes through life without making errors. This is what humility is. Remembering that we have no right to judge others, as we have made our own fair share of mistake too going through our life. Plus it is the wisdom to know that no-one is wise enough to judge another. Only God can truly know the heart of someone.

The Technology Web
Years ago, when someone emigrated from our shores, they were often gone for good. A letter sent to a far-off place may take months to arrive. Today we live at a time in human history when communication is instant and mobile phones and the internet have made the world a much smaller place.

Mean-Spirited Communication
However, with the advancement of technology and communication there has also been a downside. The anonymity of computers has encouraged a kind of communication that is often distasteful and hurtful. People today feel they can say what they want, to whoever they want, and type whatever they want. “I’m entitled to my opinion” and “I can say whatever I want” are often mantras we hear banded about. Even at the supermarket checkouts the customer can be heard giving the cashier a ‘piece of their mind’.

Bad Example to Young People
What is often lacking today from online communication is kindness, compassion, and most of all love. Words spoken, or typed, which are not shot through with love, are often words that wound and maim. I think this is particularly true when the words are heard by impressionable young people who are still trying to make sense of themselves and their role in the world. Especially when adults all over the world behave like this on a daily basis, it communicates to young people that this type of behaviour is normal. How can we tell children not to be bullies when all adults do is bully each other?

The Words We Use Everyday
This passage from Saint Faustina’s diary encourages us to examine and reflect on the kind of words and actions we use in our everyday life. Instead of looking out for the negative and finding fault in another, we should seek and search out ways in which we can encourage, support and build each other up instead of knocking each other down. This means looking for the good in others, even people we don’t find easy to love, and rejoicing at the good in them. When we see someone celebrating and joyful, we too should share in that joy. When someone we know is suffering, we should see their suffering as our own suffering, and try our best to help, encourage, and love.

So we should always pray to the Merciful Jesus and ask Him to inspire you to see what is joyful and beautiful in the lives of those around you. Examine the ways in which you talk to or about others. At the end of each day, examine your conscience as to how you have thought or spoken to the people you met during the day. Ask the Merciful Jesus to heal your heart and mind so that you will be a cause of joy and hope in the world today and that you will, through your words and actions, always communicate His love to the world.

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