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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"Since such is the nature of man that he cannot easily without external means be raised to meditation on divine things, on that account holy Mother Church has instituted certain rites, namely that certain things be pronounced in a subdued tone (canon and words of consecration) and others in a louder tone; she has likewise made use of ceremonies such as mystical blessings, lights, incense, vestments, and many other things of this kind in accordance with apostolic teaching and tradition, whereby both the majesty of so great a sacrifice might be commended, and the minds of the faithful excited by these visible signs of religion and piety to the contemplation of the most sublime matters which are hidden in this sacrifice."
— Council of Trent (Session XXII)

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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.