Purpose of the Tool
To begin a spiritual discipline of playing catch every day, tossing words and acts of kindness.
Background on the Tool
One of my favorite verses in The Rule of St. Benedict is about kindness. In Chapter 31 – Qualifications of the Monastery Cellarer Benedict quotes the Book of Sirach, noting that “a kind word is better than the best gift.” (RB 31.13-14 and Sir 18:17) Kindness is the leading quality of the
cellarer. Might kindness become our leading quality? Kindness is rooted in mutual obedience, respect, doing what is best for the other person and in the love of Christ. We may not be able to play catch every day with a ball as we did when we were kids. But we can choose to toss words and acts of kindness to one another at home, at school, at work, at church, in the grocery store, and on the phone with a rep whose help we need to solve a problem that is driving us crazy.
Decide on a day or even half a day that you will intentionally practice tossing words of kindness to others. Ask God to help you be mindful of what you say. Remember to toss kind words to yourself, too. We often toss kinder words to others than to ourselves. In the same way, plan a dedicated time to toss acts of kindness to those around you as well. Do you have a pet or two? Our animal friends respond well to kind, gentle words.
Finally, to top it off, how about having an old-fashioned game of catch with a ball? Remember your furry friends like to play catch too!
If you would like to read Jane’s article associated with this tool. “Playing Games and The Rule of St. Benedict, click here (I couldn’t get the link in. I wasn’t allowed to type “click here” and couldn’t figure out how to shorten the URL)
August, 2011 How should these dates be handled. Everything will end up being revised.
© 2011 The Rev. Dr. Jane A. Tomaine