Purpose of the Tool: To remind ourselves to practice kindness.
Background on the Tool: In Chapter 31 – Qualifications of the Monastery Cellarer Benedict advises when someone makes an unreasonable request the cellarer should just “reasonably and humbly deny the improper request.” (31.7) If something is not available that someone requests, the cellarer is to offer a kind word in reply. Benedict quotes Sirach, noting that “a kind word is better than the best gift.” (RB 31.13-14 and Sir 18:17) Both instructions put kindness as the leading quality of how the cellarer interacts with people. Kind words are “tossed” carefully creating an environment of peace.
The Tool: 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. There are times that we offer kinder words to others than to ourselves.
And, 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!
© 2011 The Rev. Dr. Jane A. Tomaine