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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"The local church should be conscious that church worship is not really the same as what we sing in a bar, or what we sing in a convention for youth."
— Francis Cardinal Arinze (2005)

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Emotional Custody of the Eyes
published 13 June 2012 by Dr. Ronda Chervin

A spiritual friend of mine came up with a great image. She said that often we can’t help but notice that someone is deficient in virtue. Instead of engaging in gossip about him or her or harsh judgment in one’s own mind, wouldn’t it be better to, as it were, cover the other with a kind of “blanket.”

I embroidered her image with this analogy. Moralists used to speak about custody of the eyes. It meant that we should not stare lustfully at others no matter how immodestly that person might dress. Instead we should lower our eyes. So, my friend’s blanket image is a sort of “emotional custody of the eyes.”

I had occasion to try this right away. Someone did something I considered to be mean. Usually, I would think a great deal about the incident. I would add up past similar instances. I would talk about the person to 5 other friends or acquaintances. Instead, I decided to just think about reasons from this person’s past that could explain why what I did pushed all the buttons. Because I was praying for him, the Holy Spirit was able to reach through my hurt to help me cover him over with the blanket of compassion.

A week later the tense feelings from the conflict dissipated and feelings of greater acceptance ensued.

Oh, dear Jesus, how is it that my own faults seems to understandable and excusable but those of others seem so horrid and almost unforgivable? Well, of course. We live within our own heads and hearts and those of others are often hidden from us. We cannot overcome the knee-jerk reaction of harsh judgment without Your grace. Please place your Sacred Heart in ours that we may truly cover over the faults and sins of others with a blanket of compassion.

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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