So last week I started an experiment to foster the development of Charity within myself. In my earlier studies, I observed that a key aspect of receiving the gift of charity is a willingness to ask for and receive the gift. I hypothesized that an effective way to do this would be to spend time at the beginning of the day thinking the day through and asking for charity in the specific situations I anticipated needing it. For instance, if I was going to help a child with homework, I would pray for patience, humility, and love for that particular event. (Believe me, I need it!)
So, for that last few days, this is exactly what I have been doing- using my prayer time at the beginning of each day to think through my itinerary and ask for help in specific instances. Here are things that I have observed coming out of this practice:
- There have been several instances where I have received specific guidance beforehand on things I should do and say. As I have followed through with this revelation, I could see real benefit to myself and to others. Not usually spectacular- just a feeling of peaceful and happy coexistance and definitely a greater feeling of love.
- On the whole, my demeanor has been more calm and conciliatory. I’ve had more patience and felt more willingness to listen to people.
- While I still have trouble with patience and being judgemental, I notice that I catch myself and I’m reeling myself in from conversations that start going bad.
As I look at what has been happening, I can see for myself that this practice has a tangible benefit in getting me closer to the kind of person I want to be. I impressed enough by what I see to adopt this practice for the foreseeable future.