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"Developing better relationships" by Anne DeSantis (CatholicMom.com) Image credit: Pixabay.com (2016), CC0/PD[/caption] Calling on God for Help in Dealing with Others Improving our relationships with others is a work that continues throughout our lives. From the time we are born until the day we die, we deal with other humans. There are many psychological, biological, spiritual, and social factors that enter into who we are as men and women. However, the Holy Spirit enlightens us, teaching us how to interact with others in positive ways. It is not an easy task, but, with God in our hearts, we can make the most of the time we have on earth with the people God has brought into our lives. Words of Advice from Pope Francis Pope Francis, in a homily, said,” With Christ at the center of your lives you will never be disappointed.” As simple as this sounds, Christ can make a difference in our relationships. As Catholics, we have the profound gifts of the Church to teach us how to love others with faith as our guide. The special relationship we have with Christ and His Church is the initial seed that will grow into something great in our lives.  Relationships become more intimate when we spend time together. When we stop our busy lives to pray to God and rest still in his love, we can develop the most important relationship that will give us true peace. Bringing the Mercy of God into our Human Relationships Pope Francis also stated, A little bit of mercy makes the world less cold and more just.” This is true in every human relationship. When we take the time to add a smile and love to our interactions with others, God is present. This is important because without God’s love we are empty shells missing an essential element in our lives. God is our sustainer, the One who has given us life. We need his love to continue to exist and bring mercy to others. Mercy is the gift of God himself. We can find mercy in Christ’s sacrifice for us on the cross where he died for all of us.  As Catholics, we have the phenomenal gift of the Holy Eucharist, the Real Living Bread of Life from God.  The gift of the Holy Spirit is for all people of God. When we take the time to recognize the gifts God has given us, we can spread the love we receive to all the people we interact with. Our families, friends, neighbors, and others will benefit and will get to know Christ through us. Interacting with Others with God’s Help The Holy Father once said, Be shepherds with the smell of your sheep in the midst of your people like Jesus the Good Shepherd.” In living our faith, we must do as Christ did and live among those who need our help and our love. We should strive to widen our circles to include those who are not just like us. I am referring to interacting with those who may be different from us in many ways including our religion. The world needs the gifts we have to offer through God. Our gifts can make a difference for those who are suffering. When we take this seriously, we can be an image of Christ to those we interact with in very simple ways. Many times as people of faith, we wish to make a difference in the world in large ways. It usually through simple interactions on a daily basis that God works in our hearts. Just as in the time of Christ, we can bring peace and love to those who may be lost or need a true friend. We can show the face of God to those we interact with through the Holy Spirit. Being Good to Those Who Cannot Repay Us Wherever we are in our lives, being good to those who cannot repay us is a key factor. The Holy Father was quoted on Twitter: “To change the world we must be good to those who cannot repay us.” It truly takes God in our hearts to give to others in this way. When we receive nothing in return, we know that it is not us acting, but God. We can thank our Lord for this gift because it is his heart acting in us. It is a miracle knowing that the powerful spirit of God’s love can work in mere human beings. Since we are created in his image and likeness, we can also know that we are a part of Him. God loves us immensely. Take the Time to React Truly with God in our hearts, we can make a difference in every human relationship, but it takes time. The time it takes is not in waiting for something great to happen outside of ourselves, but the time we take to react and reflect when we deal with others. Praying for one small moment before making a statement in a conversation is a big thing, and in that small, silent moment we wait before speaking the Holy Spirit can enlighten us to speak words of goodness and kindness. At times saying nothing at all may be all that is required to bring God to someone else and help them in their pain. Remember, the root of good relationships is sacrifice because sacrifice will make our love come to life and manifest it to the world.
Copyright 2019 Anne DeSantis