Saturday, February 5, 2011

Learning How to Achieve Discretion.

"Life in the World  and Spirit Column" in the Catholic Times describes someone who was living somewhat differently from others. Because of this he had to contend with jealousy and criticism. The columnist asked him whether this jealousy and abuse bothered him.

The  columnist was half suspecting he would express anger, pointing to those who were envious of him and responding in a way that would show how wrong their  actions were, but he did not.

Instead he answered: "There are times when  people make fun of me by calling me a fool correctly because I have done something foolish. At other times when actions are not foolish,and they call me a fool, then it is their fault and no reason for me to be upset by their wrongfully directed emotions." What can he do to avoid this kind of behavior? the columnist asks.  

He said that in the past,  he had done all the things they have done.  He had a tendency to alienate others and to lie to make himself look better. He made a pest of himself to gain favor from his family and showed he disliked others by his behavior. With the passage of time, he  gained discretion. It is a matter of time, he said. Some receive it earlier than others. He feels that by the grace of God, he received it rather early. And he is thankful to his family and friends who put up with him during this time.

The columnist said that many who come to him for spiritual help are looking for discretion in their own life, or hoping to shorten the time for this discretion to appear in those in the family with whom they are having difficulty. Some that come for counseling don't seem to be open to change, but those around them have  hope and use their authority to send them to him for counseling.

He ends the column by telling us what he thinks is meant by discretion: Not to be  too curious of another and to get rid of wanting recognition from others. This can be a burden, he says, and to shed it will help in gaining discretion. It is looking at one self with a peaceful gaze.
We should free ourselves of the fear that we will not reach discretion before our dotage. Time is of course necessary but first is the will to get rid of the hindrances, so we can begin the journey in earnest.

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