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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When Christ gave the bread, he did not say, "This is the symbol of my body," but, "This is my body." In the same way, when he gave the cup of his blood he did not say, "This is the symbol of my blood," but, "This is my blood."
— Theodore, Bishop of Mopsuestia, writing in the 5th Century

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Day 80: The Challenge of Understanding the Motives of Others
published 23 March 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 ]

“The anger of man works not the justice of God.” (James 1:20)

Dr. Ronda’s examples: There was a man I met at a social occasion years ago. We had an argument about religion. I kind of wrote him off. Now many years afterwards I saw him again in more relaxed circumstances. He was friendly and seemed to have changed. When I “write people off” do I really understand the motives for their words or actions so well that I can think they are hopeless? In another case, I developed a theory about why this person was so distant. Now, meeting him again, I see that there were many other reasons not so much involving rejection of me as I thought. A Catholic therapist talks about having open vs. narrow lens! A larger picture instead of one framed possibly by my own complexes? I had an immediate example. I wrote a funny poem to someone and sent it by e-mail. I didn’t get a thank you or even a smiley face. I jumped to the conclusion that my poem was misread as sarcastic and that this friend now hated me. Later I found out she didn’t have time to open her e-mails and when she did she was delighted with the poem. Your examples:

My prayer: Oh my Jesus, You didn’t “write off” the good thief on the cross next to Yours! Keep me from judging. Help to avoid narrow lens based on defensiveness against rejection. If I call it first, it is less painful? Send the Holy Spirit of counsel that I may understand people better in the future.

Your prayer:

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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