They are called the Paradoxical Commandments. People wrongly credit these words to Saint Teresa of Calcutta. They were written by a man named Kent Keith, but she had them framed and on display. I’d like to share them with you:
• “People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
• If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
• If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.
• If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.
• What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.
• If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
• The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.
• Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.
In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.”
“Love one another. As I have loved you, so you should also love another.” These words of Jesus are not simply a suggestion or request. They are a command and an order. We are called to love one another in the way the Lord has showed his love. It seems to me that this challenges us in four ways:
1. Jesus showed his love by caring for their physical needs [healing and feeding people; leading his disciples to a place of rest.]
2. Jesus showed his love by caring for their intellectual needs [taught by his words — many of which come to us in the gospel; and taught by his example — washing of feet at the last supper.]
3. Jesus showed his love by caring for their emotional needs [he was willing to spending time with people in their homes; he encouraged St. Thomas and Peter who doubted and betrayed him]
4. Jesus showed his love by caring for their spiritual needs, worshiped with them, taught them how to pray, and prayed for them.
Ultimately Jesus showed his love by suffering and dying on the cross. Chances are that none of us will be called to give our life for another. But we are all called to love one another by caring for each other’s physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual needs.
Those words I began with challenge us to do what is right simply because it is the right thing to do. It is said that Catholics vote two ways: with their pocketbooks and their feet. But when people angry at their priest or the church do this, it is the mission of Christ — the work of the Church — that suffers.
I know there might be reluctance and resistance to giving money to the Catholic Sharing Appeal because of accusations against our former bishop. But this appeal is not about or for the Bishop. The money goes to help other Catholics as well as needy people throughout the state of West Virginia. It supports small parishes and missions, helps Catholic Charities, benefits Catholic Schools, and enables various ministries to happen in the Diocese.
Nor will any donations you and I make to the Catholic Sharing Appeal pay for lawyers, lawsuits, and litigation. Once we reach half of our goal, every penny, nickel, dime, quarter, and dollar comes back to us for our use here at Saint Francis. We will use that to help pay down our debt on the church renovation.
I am sure there are many people who don’t think there is any chance we will meet our parish goal or that the Diocese will meet its goal.
Let’s prove the naysayers wrong, and give
to help others and ourselves
because it is the right thing to do.
Saint Francis de Sales Church
Catholic Sharing Appeal
PO Box 230
Wheeling, WV 26003