Tag Archives: kindness

Actions Have Reactions ~An Epiphany ~

We had a visiting priest who is known for his wonderful homilies. He gave a homily
and requested that we didn’t come up to him after mass and tell him how wonderful his
homilies are but to pass his homily to others.   Here is his story retold in my words
Recently, just before Christmas, this priest experienced passing some kidney stones that put
him in the hospital for surgery. While he was recuperating, a hospital volunteer came by with a
sealed Christmas card for him. As he put it, “she was ‘older than Moses’ ” and yet there she was
close to a holiday time giving out Christmas cards to patients. The priest put the sealed card on
the table next to his bed without opening it. A day or so later, he developed a fever and the only
relief he felt, was to reach over to the table, pick up the envelope and fan himself with it. He
thought about the volunteer and how her action to be kind resulted in a reaction of gratitude
and thanks from him for being so.

He then spoke on how actions have reactions and sometimes, no actions have reactions. He asked us, “Have you done any actions lately that resulted in reactions”?

His homily on that Sunday’s celebration ~ the Epiphany of the Lord ~ followed. The word “epiphany” comes from the Greek epiphainen, a verb that means- “to shine upon,” “to manifest,” or “to make known.” and was connected to the visit of the magi also known as the three wise men.

The account of the magi is rightly celebrated as an Epiphany of our Lord. The main significance of this account is that God so wonderfully revealed the identity of Jesus as Messiah and King of the Jews to these Gentile magi. It seems to be a wonderful fulfillment of the prophet Simeon’s prophecy, that Jesus would be, “a light of revelation to the Gentiles” (Luke 2:31). To shine upon ~ as the Light of the World. The homily told a story of actions to reactions – of the birth of Jesus, the visit of the magi, the threat (action) of Herod to first-borns, and the flight (reaction) to Egypt to escape it.

We were asked again if we had done any actions recently that resulted in reactions.  He suggested we might imitate the volunteer who doesn’t know that she is spoken of at every mass to many parishioners or that her action resulted in the reaction of comfort to an ailing patient.

What could we do to mirror her actions of giving and sharing? Can we manufacture good reactions? Can we forgive someone we are at odds with? Could we send a letter of forgiveness to someone with whom who we are angry and/or have stopped talking to?

Could we make amends for some miscommunication or a bad attitude? Can we have our own ‘epiphany’ over some matter that we only saw our side on? Can a ‘light of revelation’ be found in the actions of others and our reaction to them? Can we cause a chain reaction of kindness through our actions? We might gather balm for others as well as for ourselves if we see matters in another ‘Light’.

Have you had an epiphany over anything lately? Or about God? If not, think about special feelings or events in your life and see if there is revelation or epiphany that you missed.

I recalled one as he spoke.  Once I had a dream in which God told me He was sending me a gift. It was a pleasant and great dream and shortly after, I received two gifts on the same day which could only be from God.  I wondered if one of them  was the gift of my dream. Off and on I wondered about this.  They were both wonderful gifts.

But which one was ‘my dream gift?”  And one day, much later, I had an epiphany. They were both from God and so are so many other blessings He has bestowed on me. Everything He sends me is a gift.  And in His Wisdom, I felt He sent me two together and knew I would wonder and think on this.  It took a while, but I got it. All good things come from God and all are His gifts to me and I give gratitude not just for one, but for all.

Actions have reactions. And no actions have reactions, too.  Pass along an action that will make someone react in happiness especially to those for whom it will surprise. It will be balm for both of you.

I told the priest after mass that my reaction to his homily is to create this blog article and pass on his words.  I also told him his homiles were wonderful.

We had a visiting priest who is known for his wonderful homilies. He gave a homily
and requested that we didn’t come up to him after mass and tell him how wonderful his
homilies are but to pass his homily to others.   Here is his story retold in my words.
Recently, just before Christmas, this priest experienced passing some kidney stones that put
him in the hospital for surgery. While he was recuperating, a hospital volunteer came by with a
sealed Christmas card for him. As he put it, “she was ‘older than Moses’ ” and yet there she was
close to a holiday time giving out Christmas cards to patients. The priest put the sealed card on
the table next to his bed without opening it. A day or so later, he developed a fever and the only
relief he felt, was to reach over to the table, pick up the envelope and fan himself with it. He
thought about the volunteer and how her action to be kind resulted in a reaction of gratitude
and thanks from him for being so.

He then spoke on how actions have reactions and sometimes, no actions have reactions. He asked us, “Have you done any actions lately that resulted in reactions”?

His homily on that Sunday’s celebration ~ the Epiphany of the Lord ~ followed. The word “epiphany” comes from the Greek epiphainen, a verb that means “to shine upon,” “to manifest,” or “to make known.” and was connected to the visit of the magi also known as the three wise men.

The account of the magi is rightly celebrated as an Epiphany of our Lord. The main significance of this account is that God so wonderfully revealed the identity of Jesus as Messiah and King of the Jews to these Gentile magi. It seems to be a wonderful fulfillment of the prophet Simeon’s prophecy, that Jesus would be, “a light of revelation to the Gentiles” (Luke 2:31). To shine upon ~ as the Light of the World. The homily told a story of actions to reactions – of the birth of Jesus, the visit of the magi, the threat (action) of Herod to first-borns, and the flight (reaction) to Egypt to escape it.

We were asked again if we had done any actions recently that resulted in reactions.  He suggested we might imitate the volunteer who doesn’t know that she is spoken of at every mass to many parishioners or that her action resulted in the reaction of comfort to an ailing patient.

What could we do to mirror her actions of giving and sharing? Can we manufacture good reactions? Can we forgive someone we are at odds with? Could we send a letter of forgiveness to someone with whom who we are angry and/or have stopped talking to?

Could we make amends for some miscommunication or a bad attitude? Can we have our own ‘epiphany’ over some matter that we only saw our side on? Can a ‘light of revelation’ be found in the actions of others and our reaction to them? Can we cause a chain reaction of kindness through our actions? We might gather balm for others as well as for ourselves if we see matters in another ‘Light’.

Have you had an epiphany over anything lately? Or about God? If not, think about special feelings or events in your life and see if there is revelation or epiphany that you missed.

I recalled one as he spoke.  Once I had a dream in which God told me He was sending me a gift. It was a pleasant and great dream and shortly after, I received two gifts on the same day which could only be from God.  I wondered if one of them  was the gift of my dream. Off and on I wondered about this.  They were both wonderful gifts.

But which one was ‘my dream gift?”  And one day, much later, I had an epiphany. They were both from God and so are so many other blessings He has bestowed on me. Everything He sends me is a gift.  And in His Wisdom, I felt He sent me two together and knew I would wonder and think on this.  It took a while, but I got it. All good things come from God and all are His gifts to me and I give gratitude not just for one, but for all.

Actions have reactions. And no actions have reactions, too.  Pass along an action that will make someone react in happiness especially to those for whom it will surprise. It will be balm for both of you.

I told the priest after mass that my reaction to his homily is to create this blog article and pass on his words.  I also told him his homiles were wonderful.

©Marie Coppola December 2016

 

©Marie Coppola December 2016

Give a Little Love from your Heart

 

Love and kindness are never wasted. They always make a difference. They bless the one who receives them,and they bless you, the giver.” Barbara De Angelis

How do YOU communicate kindness and love?

No, we’re not talking about greeting cards here. Although, Hallmark makes a good profit on all those cards most of us send to loved ones. Just for the greeting card record, here is a list of the top 5 holidays, excluding Christmas, for sending greeting cards:

#1: Valentine’s Day -144 million greeting cards (It’s also the 2nd most celebrated holiday in the U.S. after Christmas)

#2: Mother’s Day – 133 million cards

#3: Father’s Day – 94  million cards

#4; Easter – 54 million cards

#5: Halloween – 20 million cards

Sending greeting cards can express the card’s sentiments for you – but you can communicate love and kindness in other ways. Here are some ways to give the best you have because you care.

1) Visit a friend in need, who could really use a visit and LISTEN to what he or she is telling you. Just listening, without interrupting, is one of the best ways to care about someone. Don’t offer advice or opinions. Just listen.

2) If someone tells you a juicy tidbit of gossip, don’t repeat it. Let it die with you. Gossip is hurtful and serves no purpose to repeat it. The old adage, ‘Don’t believe anything you hear and half of what you see’ is a good one.

3) Make a phone call to an ill, homebound person and just say hello. It will mean much to them and willl uplift them. Better yet, stop in and see them – and bring them a treat; a flower or a sweet. Or bring along some home-made chicken soup. The real treat is seeing you and having company.

4) Help out a frazzled mom and offer to take her kids to the library or some other function. It’s an hour or two out of your time; it will mean the world to her.

5) Visit one of the nursing homes and bring some travel toiletries or small gifts. Some of the live-ins there may not have had a visitor like you for years.

6) Listen patiently when your next-door senior neighbor complains yet again about barking dogs. It may be the only communication he has had all day.

7) Give the woman in church who is celebrating her 80th birthday – a hug. She may not have been hugged in a long time. It’s a gift she will remember. Elderly seniors who live alone are usually in need of affection and hugs.

8) Write a heartfelt letter to someone who has done a kindness for you. Don’t email or call your thank you. Write him or her a note or letter – hand-written messages are becoming a rarity – and are special to the receivers.

9) Invite a recent widow or widower over for dinner. They are not used to eating alone and will welcome the invitation.

10) Check your pantry for extra cans that may be expiring in the next months. Donate them to a Helping Hand or Outreach program. These organizations pass foodstuffs quicker than they will expire. You may end up throwing them away — and someone will be extremely grateful for them.

11) Surprise a special child or your own or grandchild and plan a drop-in lunch visit at their school. Watch their eyes light up when they see you walk in. Small children thrive when you show them special attention.

12) Valentines come in packages and contain just a happy greeting – no mushiness. Buy a couple of packs and send them to everyone you know who is alone, divorced or widowed. Valentine’s Day can be a lonely one for singles and unattached folks. It will uplift them. And you, too.

Small acts of kindness may be the best that you can give.  – it costs very little when you care and share your love.

© Marie Coppola,  January  2017 revised