To Live Gently

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Why is the world so bent on destruction and self-destruction?

Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.” – Matthew 5:5

gentle touchGentle is an elusive word to define for the word itself is filled with its own definition. Dictionaries try to define “gentle” as mild, considerate, tender and kind; not harsh or severe. The King James uses the word “meek” but like so many other words in the English language the connotations of words change. So, I define “gentle” in terms of metaphors and usages … “a sparrow settles gently upon a branch”, “a gentle breeze stirs the leaves of the willow tree”, “a gentle rain has a whispering voice”.

Though I am clumsy in so many ways, I do desire to be a “gentle” soul. I want to speak with gentle words delivered in gentle tones, but the injustices in the world demand more strident words and tones. I want to gain a gentle touch in all things I do, even when I do hard work. I want to walk gently on the earth leaving but the faintest of footprints; I want to serve others in gentle ways.

But what was Christ trying to communicate when He spoke of this ideal, ”Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.” Years of thought I have invested in trying to understand. In my maturity, I think Christ was reminding us that our rage eventually consumes ourselves, even for the “victor” war is self-destructive. I sense Christ is saying that we endure and prosper when we are gentle with each other, gentle with the earth, even gentle with our own personhood. We endure and prosper not through conquest and consumption but through cooperation and creativity.

I know … so many have dismissed the idea of gentle love as being naïve and unrealistic. I like to think of it as stewardship of all we have been given.

In His Service always,
Fr. Charitas de la Cruz

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