Random Acts of Kindness

oscar-wilde-smallest-act-of-kindnessYesterday I had the privilege of celebrating the opening school Mass at Incarnate Word Academy. At that Mass the students prayed that the Holy Spirit would lead and guide them throughout the school year and celebrated the 90th Anniversary of the arrival Sisters of the Incarnate Word in Cleveland. Almost all of the Sisters, including those who are now residing at Regina Health Center, were present for this special Mass.

In my homily, I encouraged the students to make a commitment of patterning their lives on that of the Incarnate Word – Jesus Christ. After explaining that this would mean reflecting Christ’s love and joy to others, I asked them to make a daily commitment to three things. Come into the school building every day with a smile on their face and joy in their heart – to be happy. Move through every day with an attitude of gratitude. Gratitude for family and friends, the comfortable life that is theirs that children in Florida do not have right now, and for God’s love and presence in their lives. Engage in a random act of kindness every day of this school year as a gift to the Sisters of the Incarnate Word as they celebrate their 90th Anniversary.

Then, turning to the Sisters, we thanked them for their ministry and asked them to accept the 410 daily “random acts of kindness” as an act of gratitude from the students for all that they have given and been for the Incarnate Word Academy Community over the years.

A little history about the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament. In 1927, the Sisters were forced out of Mexico by religious persecution and political instability. At the invitation of Bishop Schrembs, then the Bishop of Cleveland, five Sisters and two Novices came to Cleveland. They arrived on Mother’s Day, May 8, 1927. As Sister Margaret Taylor, SIW, Congregational Leader, wrote in the Summer 2017 edition of The Word, “Little did our first Sisters know when they came to Cleveland what results their humble beginnings would bring. What a journey it has been for us as we see God’s grace abound. As our first Sisters came with trust and patience, so we continue the journey with trust and patience as we follow the Incarnate Word.”

I encourage you, when you see one of the Sisters of the Incarnate Word, be sure to wish them a happy anniversary and thank them for their presence and ministry in our area. You might even consider doing a “random act of kindness” for them on a daily basis during their anniversary year – which continues through May 8, 2018.

At the end of the Mass I explained to the students that Bishop Nelson Perez, our new bishop, is the successor of the bishop who welcomed the Sisters of the Incarnate Word to Cleveland. I asked them to please remember to pray for him every day. I encourage you to do the same. As so many of us who have met him have commented, “we are moved by the joy, enthusiasm, and energy that his smile and laugh reveals.” May God give him, and us, many happy years!

I encourage you to prayerfully consider doing what I invited the students at Incarnate Word to do every day. Face the day with a smile on your face and joy in your heart – to be happy. Move through the day with an attitude of gratitude. Gratitude for family and friends, the comfortable life that is yours that people in Florida, the Caribbean, Texas and Mexico do not have right now, and for God’s love and presence in your life. Engage in a daily “random act of kindness.” Who knows, these three thing might make all of difference in your life, as well as the lives of those you encounter.

Finally, I encourage you to find time and space each day to talk with God. It may mean visiting the Eucharistic Adoration Chapel or taking a walk down the parkway. What about saying a decade of the rosary on the way to the store, practice or Mass? It is nice to find a quiet place to be with God, but even the interruptions of life can be turned into moments or occasions of prayer.

My next blog will be in two weeks, on September 27.

Question – What motivates you to be a person of joy, gratitude, and kindness?

September 13th, 2017 |