August 25: Who are we to judge? If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has goodwill, who am I to judge? ~Pope Francis, born Jorge Mario Bergoglio, two hundred and sixty-sixth pope of the Catholic Church
A man named Joe South wrote a great folk song long ago called “Walk a Mile in My Shoes,” and he sang, “Before you accuse, criticize, and abuse—walk a mile in my shoes.” No one can claim a life of perfection. We all make mistakes. Judging another because of the person’s differences will not protect us from having to face our own. God made us all in His or Her image—different shapes, colors, characters, personalities. It is the miracle of our diversity that will make this journey more exciting and enjoyable. Rather than criticize or judge the unknown, who is to say that once we open our eyes to the beauty of others through love, we won’t discover something incredibly profound and beautiful about ourselves? When we get past fears of the unknown, forgive imperfections, and start to lead with courage, greatness is not only possible for all of us but probable. When we get past our own insecurities and set aside our judgments, we can look for the first time into the eyes of another with wonder. There we will connect as souls, and the love that is there in the connection will burst from within. After we have mentally walked a mile in the shoes of another, our gratitude for their presence in our lives grows! We are so blessed to have a diverse array of people in our lives; we are better people for it! Amen! Magical Key to Bliss: Set aside your judgments and embrace one another.