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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"No concession should ever be made for the singing of the Exultet, in whole or in part, in the vernacular."
— Fr. Augustin Bea, S.J. in the years immediately before the Second Vatican Council

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Day 43: New Theme: The Challenge of being Friendly
published 23 January 2012 by Dr. Ronda Chervin

What you will read now is part of a series of 100 spiritual challenges. Each blog can be viewed separately, but for maximum benefit a reader needs to start with the introductory blog of November 18, 2011, and then continue step by step. Day One begins on Sunday, November 20, 2011.
    [ Click here for 100 STEPS ]

“A friend loves at all times…” (Proverbs 17:17)

Teaching on Friendliness:

In the wonderful Legion of Mary way of evangelizing, team members are told that the greatest way to win others for Christ is by making friends of them. Of course, we all know that people will listen to us if they feel we love them and be wary and distancing if they think we just want them as statistics for our own merit badges.

As well, being friendly is just a basic part of being loving. We may excuse ourselves for being withdrawn, shy, impolite or even rude on the basis that “not everyone can put a fake smiley face on all day long.” Of course, insincere friendliness is not the Way of Love. However, what the Holy Spirit of Love wants for each of us is that we be truly friendly as a response to the goodness, neediness, or even enmity of others. That is just Gospel! They say in 12 Step “Say what you mean, but don’t say it mean!”

Of course, outward friendliness is easier for extroverts than introverts or those who are shy. Just the same, we have to overcome whatever is part of our nature or a result of wounds of the past that keeps us from being hurtful to others. Many shy people appear to others as unfriendly and even arrogant! As one pundit put it: “we need to be wounded healers not wounded wounders.”

During this week we will go step by step exhibiting different kinds of friendliness. Being polite, I believe, is the minimum of friendliness, yet sometimes when I am in a bad mood I simply ignore others, fail to say thank you for little favors or services, and hide behind an unfriendly façade.

Let’s see how it feels to be friendly in all circumstances this week such as home, the marketplace, with fellow workers, at Church.

Topic: Day 43: Monitoring my own and others’ Friendliness Moment by Moment

“A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly.” Proverbs 18:24

Dr. Ronda’s examples: I noticed the “night people” are often quite unfriendly and withdrawn in the morning. I am all chirpy and people who are half-asleep in the AM don’t like it. Unfriendly response of a relative to a request. Friendly response of daughter to my e-mail group mail crisis. Sent print out of something to two people who don’t use e-mail so they could enjoy it – usually I think in an unfriendly manner that if people didn’t go through the hell I did to learn tech then why should I bother with snail mail, but I have reasons I should do each of these people a favor anyhow. At Church there is a woman who always greets friends but also anyone who looks lonely before daily Mass. I know some of us, me included, would prefer silence before Mass for a better way to pray, but this woman is so genuine. She is in dreadful pain all the time which she offers up for everyone. I think it is sign of great friendliness that she does this.

Your examples:

Prayer: Saints of God, when I think of you I always think you were recollected, aware of the presence of the Trinity all the time, yet I also picture you as friendly in the way of sensitive to the need of others to know that you loved them. Please intercede for me that I may always be both aware of God and also friendly.

Read more blog entries by Dr. Ronda Chervin 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.

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