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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"Bishops have a duty towards both wise and foolish. They have to rouse the devotion of the carnal people with material ornament, since they are incapable of spiritual things."
— St. Bernard of Clairvaux (†1153)

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Day 47: The Challenge of Lovingly Affirming Others
published 30 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 ]

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: if one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10)

Dr. Ronda’s examples:

I realized that a huge aspect of the Way of Love: is affirming vs. criticizing others. Even if we are correct in our critical assessments, generally people need lots of affirmation in order to persevere through this valley of tears, step by step. An example that surfaced for me was seeing again a Guatamalan charismatic leader at the parish here where I used to live and minister. Although he is an incredibly effective minister to the Hispanic community, since his English is not perfect, he was very anxious about applying for the deacon program. The Anglo-Pastor urged him on and I wrote a letter of recommendation greatly affirming him for being a dynamite preacher but also full of prudence and compassion – qualities that don’t always go with being a dynamite preacher. I knew the people who run the deacon preparation program would need to know about his prudence since most non-charismatics worry that such leaders can become cult-idols. Seeing him again, one year into the program, I realized how important my affirmation of him was also for him. During the day I also made a point of affirming people for small things like their hair style or whatever.

Your examples:

Prayer: Holy Spirit of love, I have always wondered why some find it so much easier to criticize than to affirm when affirmation has such great effects. Yet, I, too, spend a lot of time criticizing others, often harshly, in my head if not in words. Help me to love to affirm others, not only verbally, but also in those inner conversations. May I always be conversing inwardly, not with devils, but with You.

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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