By Katie Beckmann Mahon, Communications Manager
This week’s “Embracing Faith” article will focus on Embracing Faith through Relationships.
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as God forgave you.”
As the holiday season approaches, it’s time to pause and remember a simple concept that we often forget, being kind to one another.
On a recent episode of the Hearts Afire Podcast, Sr. Grace Augustine Canevari, OP, reflected on this topic and shared her views on the importance of kindness.
“I think we can reveal God’s kingdom by our acts of kindness,” said Sr. Grace.
She went on to add, “I believe that people are unkind not because they are mean because they are not conscious. I think we fail to see the times that we can be kind when they are right in front of our eyes. Why? I can be preoccupied with my own thoughts, my own work, my own need to get such and such done that I don’t notice that someone needs a little bit of help right there.”
Throughout her 60-year elementary education ministry at St. Luke’s, St. Anselm’s, and now at St. Frances de Chantal, Sr. Grace has always tried to “spread a sense of concern and caring, first for the children and then to my colleagues.”
She added, “I really have experienced kindness, and I have to try to pass it on to other people because it’s important that people realize we can be kind to one another.”
When reflecting on the general topic of kindness, Sr. Grace believes that it consists of three parts.
“I think it involves listening when someone needs to talk. Taking the time to listen, not to solve the problem, makes the person realize they are special. Another aspect of kindness is to be of service. Greet people, offer a helping hand, leave things in a way that the next person finds easier when they come along to get to what they have to do, put things back where they belong so the next person can find it. It’s important to think of the next one when something is being done. The third part is to become more aware of my surroundings. I don’t think people are mean. I think they don’t notice things. I have to learn to become more aware and to notice the things that are around.”
When asked about the potential impact of kindness and can it change the world, Sr. Grace responded, “Yes, I do. It’s like the domino effect; kindness is contagious.”