Gentleness of the Soul
LIFE'S ESSENCE - Katherine R. Oyson (The Freeman) - November 20, 2019 - 12:00am

In his book, “Just A Moment,” Fr. Jerry M. Orbos, SVD. Remarks: “Someone once said that if religion has done nothing to your temper, then it has not done much to your soul.”

Orbos comments, “Why is it that there are people who claim to love God, yet go on hurting other people? Why is it that there are people who have so many devotions and are prayerful, but are proud, arrogant, and deceitful? Before you talk about your religion or your devotion, let’s talk first about the gentleness of your soul.”

I am reminded of a story of a samurai master who one day was challenged to a duel by a beginner, and proud warrior in the presence of his students. The young warrior challenged the master by saying, “Let’s have a duel to prove you really are a grand master and deserves to be called one.”

The samurai master just looked at him and never said a word. Realizing that there was no response, the young warrior left. His students surrounded him and asked, “Master, why  did you not accept his challenge?”

The master answered gently, “If someone gives you a gift, and you don’t accept it, the gift is still with him. So it is in anger. Since I didn’t accept his challenge, is anger is still with him.”

The gentleness of one’s soul can be illustrated on the following strengths as cited at strongsensitivesouls.com:

• Presence. When others talk, you listen. When loved ones simply need silence, you’re there quietly. When they need words of comfort, you have them. Your sensitivity leads you to give people your full presence. You don’t check your phone, you don’t dismiss, you don’t ignore. You’re really there, fully respectful, generously and lovingly looking them in the eye.  Your presence is a gift and it’s priceless.

• Depth. Your soul runs deep. You don’t cower away from pain, you couldn’t feel tired. You embody it. You let it run through.

• Empathy. The pain of others, the unfairness of the world enters and flows through you. You don’t need to experience it directly, you just need to witness it to make it yours. You’ll walk through fire to protect those who need it, because you know just how real their pain is. You’ll fight for what is right because living with what’s wrong hurts your soul. You protect and defend with surprising fearlessness, when others seemed so strong you cower away. And you have an understanding of fairness that most others seem blind to. Without your emphatic soul, the world would suffer.

• Compassion. Your emphatic soul breeds compassion. You treat others as you would like to be treated, because you know so well how it feels to experience the opposite. You protect those who are weaker than you because your sense of justice overrides any insecurities you may have. It is compassion that changes the world. A heavy burden only the strongest souls can carry.

• Strength. Many believe it’s a weakness to feel so much. They’re wrong. The more emotions you feel, the stronger you are.

JUST A MOMENT
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