Today we’re going to do our best to cover Judgment. I had to get slightly controversial on ya. I wanted to be sure to get you when you least expected it. As always, it will not be what you expect. So do read on.
This is a broad topic and one that I deal with and have dealt with on a daily basis from all vantage points.
In yesterday’s mini-Catholicism morsel, we talked about Ignatian Spirituality and a tad on St. Ignatius himself.
What is it?
Judgment (aside from always being misspelled by your resident Catholic) is only to be given by God upon one’s death. As in, those that are judged to go to heaven or hell. The end. That’s it. I mean, there is Purgatory – but we’re in the land of J.
Why did I choose to share this particular “J” with you?
A few reasons. I judge and I am judged. My family is judged. My family judges others. My church judges, I judge the church. Ugh, I could do this all day. How can this be? Look up at how small that definition of judgment is according to the Catholic faith. considering the deep teaching and theology present in the church on – well everything – you would think we, as Catholics, would have it in the bag! Not so…let’s take a look at a verse a friend just mentioned to me:
James 1: 23-24
For if any are hearers of the word and not doers, they are like those who look at themselves in a mirror; for they look at themselves and, on going away, immediately forget what they were like.
She said it was kind of similar to this verse that I then shared with her:
“Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. For with the judgment you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbor,‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ while the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye.
Now, you’re probably familiar with, or have heard the latter of these two bits of scripture. Joined together, though, and through the lens of judgment, it’s as if Jesus knew that we would have a problem with judging others. We can be so self-righteous can’t we? Just recently at mass, for example, I was sitting behind a woman I hadn’t seen before. She kept motioning to her husband throughout mass. It seemed she wasn’t pleased with how the priest was conducting mass. The more she fidgeted, the more bothered I got. “Where does she get off? How disrespectful! This priest is awesome. He’s visiting from Haiti and we couldn’t be MORE blessed to have him. And then the eye rolls. I hope she turns around so I can give her an eyeslap” (super crazy eye roll)…See what I’ve been doing? I’ve been judging her. Even as I was “defending the priest” I was judging her. Tsk tsk tsk. It’s an easy trap to fall into folks, and honestly, it will creep up on me and happen again. I think the important thing though, is to recognize it. Recognize it so you can get better (not perfect), at minimizing the easy slide to judgment. And for all of my already-Catholics, not to worry, at the Sign of Peace, she was the first person I shook hands with, looked right in the eye (no slapping) and smiled a sincere, full-of-agape, authentic smile.
Can you recognize the small slip into judgment-land? What are your triggers?
Come back tomorrow for to read all about my Catholic take on the letter K. I am blogging my way through the alphabet with others who are doing the same.
Please support the bloggers of the #AtoZchallenge by visiting, sharing or commenting. We have all worked long and hard to prepare these posts, some prepping for a couple of months, as we posted our regular schedule, took care of our children, went to work, had the flu…well, you get the idea.