About this blogger:
Ronda Chervin received a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Fordham University and an MA in Religious Studies from Notre Dame Apostolic Institute. A widow, mother, and grandmother, she currently teaches philosophy at Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut. Write to her at chervinronda@gmail.com.
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“Iconographic tradition has theologically interpreted the manger and the swaddling cloths in terms of the theology of the Fathers. The child stiffly wrapped in bandages is seen as prefiguring the hour of his death: from the outset, he is the sacrificial victim, as we shall see more closely when we examine the reference to the first-born. The manger, then, was seen as a kind of altar.”
— Pope Benedict XVI (2012)

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Excuse vs. Accuse
published 28 September 2011 by Dr. Ronda Chervin

In the group, Recovery, International, that I have led for some 18 years we have “tools” like the 12 Step slogans. One is “excuse vs. accuse.” I had a miserable example of this, mea culpa, this week. I wanted to try to save money on my expensive unlimited A T and T cell phone by switching to Verizon. But it seems that these cheap Verizon plans are very user unfriendly and that, in general, Verizon is famous for poor customer service.

A dear friend went with me to the Verizon emporium and it took us 20 hours over 3 days to get the whole matter straightened out. Some of you got messages from me about changes of phone number during the course of this. I seethed through the process full of sarcasm and bile plus recurring fantasies of leaving the world in the form of throwing out all tech stuff and spending the rest of my life walking through the country evangelizing people, Franciscan style.

After two days of listening to my rants, my older techy friend, suggested that, after all, most of the Verizon personnel are young techy people who are not used to helping older clients. They just assume you will catch on quickly with a minimum of help.

At this point I thought of our tool “excuse vs. accuse” and realized that in Christian form this meant that I was indulging in harsh judgment and actually sinning against charity. Somehow, when I do this with people I know, I readily see that I am sinning as I go along and quickly repent and ask forgiveness. But when it comes to strangers in business settings, it takes me forever to see that I am sinning – at least venially.

If this example resonates with you, it might be good to think where might the Holy Spirit be wanting me to “excuse vs. accuse.”

Read more blog entries by Dr. Ronda by visiting RONDAVIEW. Dr. Ronda Chervin has many free e-books and audios on her website rondachervin.com. If you go to her website and read or listen and then want to correspond with her she will be available. Her schedule does not permit, however, responding to comments on the Blog, though she enjoys reading them. Dr. Ronda’s newest project is spiritualityrunningtogod.com.