Saturday, April 9, 2011

Saturday, 4th Week: Living Without Prejudices Is Challenging

Nicodemus ... asked, "Our law does not judge people without first giving them a hearing to find out what they are doing, does it?" - John 7:51

One of the hardest spiritual tasks is to live without prejudices. Sometimes we aren’t even aware how deeply rooted our prejudices are. We may think that we relate to people who are different than we are in color, religion, sexual orientation, or lifestyle as equals, but in concrete circumstances our spontaneous thought, uncensored words, and knee-jerk reactions often reveal that our prejudices are still there.

Strangers, people different from us, stir up fear, discomfort, suspicion, and hostility. They make us lose our sense of security just by being “other.” Only when we fully claim that God loves us in an unconditional way and look at “those other persons” as likewise loved can we begin to discover that the great variety in humanity is an expression of the immense richness of God's heart. Then the need to prejudge people can gradually disappear; or at least its hold on us will lessen. Moreover, we can ask God for the grace to see and love as Jesus sees and loves. Consequently, being aware of our prejudices and asking to “borrow” Jesus’s eyes and heart will help us grow in compassion.

"Lord, make known to me my prejudices and help me to overcome them."

adapted from Henri Nouwen

No comments:

Post a Comment