Across the Pastor’s Desk: Respect the dignity of everyone

Published 9:18 am Friday, March 10, 2017

Across the Pastor’s Desk by Henry Doyle

Henry Doyle is the priest in charge at Christ Episcopal Church in Albert Lea.

Excerpt from the Prayer for the Human Family: “God, look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggles and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth,” (The Book of Common Prayer, p. 815).

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It is my prayer that the Holy Spirit will inspire, encourage and strengthen us to respect the dignity of every human being.

Henry Doyle

Each day, we journey with quite a wide range and immense number of human beings. Let us treat one another right; let us care about and love one another; let us have compassion and prayers for one another.

We people of the earth are fallible; we far too often mistreat one another.

When I have been unkind, disrespectful, intolerant, insensitive and rude, I have felt awful and ashamed. I have not followed the Golden Rule; I have disappointed Nana, my maternal grandmother. I confess to God and ask for forgiveness; I confess to the one whom I have offended, hurt, mistreated and ask for forgiveness.

One late weekday morning, while I delivered for Meals on Wheels, a “stranger” and I exchanged heated words (we shouted no profanity to each other) on the street. As I resumed delivering the rest of the meals, I criticized my misconduct. I decided that I had to reconcile with this individual.

After I had delivered the meals, I went back to the area. I correctly guessed the man’s whereabouts. I faced him and admitted that I had been in the wrong, and apologized.

He said that I did not have to do what I was doing, but I had insisted on making the apology, for it was the right thing to do.

You, dear reader, may think that I ought to have “forgotten” what had happened, that I would have moved on. After all, I might never have seen the person again. Nonetheless, I had to take the step and make amends.

By the way, two months later, the man and I were in the same room, where we could not avoid each other. We were friendly and felt no tension between us.

Excerpt from The Prayer attributed to Saint Francis of Assisi: “Lord, make us instruments of your peace. Where there is hatred, let us sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is discord, union.”