WHATSOEVER THINGS ARE LOVELY... Or ACCENTUATE THE POSITIVE
I believe we would all agree that our total situation – national, international, climatic – is very far indeed from what we would prefer and hope for.
It makes me think of Brother Lawrence (Practising the Presence of God). When he was berated by critics, pointing to God’s incompetence in letting the world get into such a mess, he would reply: ‘It is surprising that it is not worse’. And this, I think, is an attitude we might take and develop as part of our witness in bleak times.
On Radio 4 at 7.54 on Sunday mornings, there is an appeal from a succession of charities dedicated to the reduction of human misery.
Causes include those helping the extremely poor, the very disadvantaged. It extends to those suffering from rare disabilities overlooked by ‘normal’ medical practice.
In every case, it is about persistence, care, love, ingenuity, at work in the following of the Good Samaritan, whether he is acknowledged or not.
I compiled a year’s titles and found the picture very inspiring. There must be many other ways of reviewing the good actions going on around us amid the surges of evil failure and disappointment.
I suggest the good actions are part of the response to Paul’s admonition to the Ephesians (6:16). ‘This may be a wicked age but your lives should redeem it’.
Think on this
I think St Paul is helping us along the same lines in his encouragement to the Philippians. ‘Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.’