Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Lady of Courtesy and Amiability

Our Lady has a solution for this one! Have you ever greeted someone, only to find yourself treated in a discourteous manner? What used to be "common courtesy" is appallingly lacking today. But no matter, for as St. John of the Cross taught, “It is great wisdom to know how to be silent and to look at neither the remarks, nor the deeds, nor the lives of others.” Instead, let's be concerned about how we behave.

For example, when in a situation when speaking aloud would be remiss (as when in church), a gentle smile and a brief nod of the head acknowledges the presence of those in our vicinity. When passing closely by a stranger in a store, one should say, "Excuse me" (and so should the stranger).

Should someone (family, friend or acquaintance) open a door for us, we should gratefully say "Thank you" instead of sailing through the entrance with nary an acknowledgement of the favor granted us. If someone wishes to speak with us and we truly do not have time, we should sincerely express our regrets with a sympathetic tone. Even further, we might ask the individual what time would be best for us to catch up with them? The little niceties go a long way, but how revealing is the interior life of those who lack them.

Yet there is someone who is all courtesy and amiability, especially when we remember to greet Her first. And well we should, for She truly is Our Lady. This most gracious Lady will teach us to be (or become even more) considerate of others.

So here is a lovely practice for the good of our souls: Each time we pass any likeness of Our Lady, simply bow our heads in respect and quietly say "Hail Mary!"

"You must know that when you ‘hail’ Mary, she immediately greets you! Don’t think that she is one of those rude people, of whom there are so many. On the contrary, she is utterly courteous and pleasant. If you greet her, she will answer you right away and converse with you!"
~St. Bernardine of Siena

1 comment:

  1. I've heard others remark about it as well, we are all missing gentility. What ever happened to gentility and good manners?

    Thank you for linking it to Our Mother, she is always a role model.