The last of our seven virtues, kindness, may seem like an odd one to pair with envy. But kindness for kindness's sake is the only selfless virtue that could possibly help us to avoid our selfish, jealous tendencies. Remember the envy itself is not the sin, it is the actions in reaction to the feeling. This makes kindness, an intentional decision rather than a unintentional reaction, its perfect opposite.
At the root of kindness is charity, love, compassion, and friendship for friendship's sake. This means that when we are kind we are charitable to those around us. We love our neighbors freely, not expecting anything in return. We are compassionate to those different than us, we see past the differences and see the beautiful, human soul inside them; we call them brother or sister in Christ, regardless if they believe as we do. Our relationships are pure, they come from a sincere desire to foster a loving, healthy relationship with the other. It is not a competition between the two of us. We build one another up and cheer one another on.
We are called to be many things in our faith. Faithful, loving, prayerful. Kind is something we are rarely reminded of. But kindness is so integral to living that Christian faith we hope to live. No prophet would be successful without receiving the kindness of others and extending kindness. We cannot bring others to God if we cannot be kind to those around. After all, you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. Even more importantly, acts of kindness are the roots for the works of mercy we are called to do. Feeding the hungry, visiting those in prison, these actions must come from a place of kindness for them to be a true act of marriage.
Tomorrow is a day of Thanksgiving; take the day to reflect on your blessings, your successes, and your failures. This Sunday is the first day of a new liturgical year. Don't wait for January 1st to start fresh; why not this Sunday. Take time to reflect on the seven sins, how have you fallen to victim them? Do you have the seven virtues in your life? Conclude your reflection with the Sacrament of Reconciliation to start your new church year.
Happy Thanksgiving and tota tua.