During Lent we have asked some of our church members, friends, and staff to respond to a one-word prompt. The word prompts reflect some of the themes we will be hearing in the Sunday Gospels.
Temptation… Awe… Change… Forgiveness… Judgment… Passion
Fifth Sunday of Lent | April 7, 2019 | “Judgment”
If you’ve ever taken a yoga class, chances are there has been a point where the teacher leads you through a short guided meditation. During this meditation you’ve probably been asked to “notice your thoughts” but do not hold onto them or fixate on them. Do not judge your thoughts, just let them pass like clouds in the sky. If you are like any other normal human being, you’ve probably found this incredibly challenging and a bit frustrating. But it is possible. I think this is what Jesus is calling us to do in today’s readings. He is our yoga teacher. He calls us to “Remember not the events of the past” and to “forget what lies behind.” He draws us to his ultimate call to non judgment: “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” This week, I invite you into the yoga class of life. Walk through your week mindfully – not judgmentally. Be aware of your thoughts but do not let them get the best of you. Focus on the “prize of God’s upward calling” and inward calling to be kind and compassionate to others, but most especially to yourself.
Dominic Trumfio is the Associate Director of Music at Old St. Patrick’s and is a RYT 200-hr certified yoga instructor from Moksha Yoga Center, Chicago.
“Good judgment comes from experience, and most of that comes from bad judgment.”
When I came across this quote years ago, I was struck by its wit and honesty. As a person who struggled with negative self-judgment, I found this perspective liberating. Perhaps my mistakes, even poorly-intentioned mistakes, weren’t the end of the world, but an opportunity to grow.
Does it work this way with God? Being judged by God for our actions (and inactions) is a recurrent theme in the New Testament. Does he take into account whether or not we learn from our mistakes? I’d like to think that the God of Love would consider context in his evaluations, just as I’d want anyone to consider all the facts when judging me.
How often do I consider all the facts when judging others? Or even when judging myself? Perhaps this Lent is an opportunity to reflect on the measuring stick with which we evaluate ourselves and others.
Kelly Carroll is a clinical social worker who specializes in interpersonal trauma, a mother to one-year-old twins, and the originator of the OSP Next Lenten Grilled Cheese and Wine Party.
Judgment, to me, is the act of making the best decision for a desired outcome. As Catholics, we can use the concept of “the greater good” to help us make judgment calls. This is a consideration of the best outcome for all people possibly impacted by a decision. This can be used as a guiding principle which can provide structure and order to our decisions. The discernment process can require one to get personal and granular in order to uncover what the greater good actually is. This process can provide us with an opportunity to peel back the layers of our preconceived notions and open us up to have space for something more. Deciding based in this knowledge can provide us with the framework and vital knowledge needed for the best decision. Judgment is then the act of choosing the best outcome based in our knowledge of what is good and right for all. Certainly as people of Faith, this can be informed by and through our relationship to God.
Kathleen Quinlan is a Graduate Student at Loyola’s Institute for Pastoral Studies and serves as the Special Events Coordinator at Old St. Pat’s.