Your Vote for Kindness: 2015 Beatitudes Blog Top Posts, Part 1

by | Dec 28, 2015 | Top Posts

_DSC6293In this last week of 2015, I offer the posts you shared and read the most, their titles highlighted as links below. Reviewing them taught me “where your deep hunger and my deep gladness meet,” to paraphrase Frederick Buechner’s famous definition of vocation. What themes and recurrent motifs appear in the most widely viewed posts?
As the home page indicates, successful posts on the Beatitudes Blog validate the faith and encourage the spiritual life of people in emotional pain. From your most frequently read posts, I learned that you want to know that you do not face life’s everyday stresses and acute crises alone. Moreover, you want affirmation that giving and receiving kindness strengthens and heals.
In some posts, I shared my own suffering, sharing my vulnerability and the strength and insight I gained through painful experiences. In “My Loneliest Birthday Became a Blessed Christmas Eve,” “The Merton Prayer,” “My Most Prized Possession,” and with a dose of humor, “Losing My Religion at the 50 Yard Line,” I shared episodes and experiences when loss and anguish became means of grace.
Posts stressing the importance of respecting suffering resonated with many readers. In “Privilege and the Compassion Deficit,” I argued that respect for our own suffering strengthens compassion for others. “Validation and Comfort” emphasized the importance of refusing to rush to fix and comfort. Rather, one must patiently be with others in their pain before searching for answers. “Keeping Faith in an Invalidating Environment” examined the suffering caused by all-too-common invalidation of emotional experience. Published in the aftermath of the Charleston church shooting, the post exposed the cruel invalidation inherent in racism.
Some of the most popular posts offered practical perspectives on psychological and spiritual struggles in our fast-paced and competitive culture. “Self-Esteem: Handle with Care” laid out the benefits and hazards of positive self-esteem and discussed humility as the skill and orientation needed to keep it helpful. “Learning Patience in the Little Things” and “You Can Rest Now” countered the tyranny of busy schedules by encouraging openness and consent to God’s loving presence and action. Genuine Care” and “Three Dimensions of Peace and Peacemaking” counseled the importance of self-care while caring for others and while reaching out to build social bridges.
That self-care must include self-compassion. “Learning from Donald Trump” offered a twist on this theme, enlisting Trump as an alter ego to those who value compassion, an alter we must get to know and befriend without capitulating to it. But thank goodness for the positive example set by my mother in, “Our Mother, the Peacemaker,” as she quietly reached out across economic and racial lines to build bridges and set an example for her children.
Where is God in all this? That question piqued much interest in this year’s Beatitudes Blog posts. We turn to it more explicitly on Thursday.
Please click any or all of the above post titles to catch up on popular posts you missed or review some of your favorites. Feel free to share with anyone and everyone. If you are new to the Beatitudes Blog, don’t worry. I keep the posts short. Subscribe by entering your email address in the widget on the upper right column or below the text on each page. Thank you so much for reading the Beatitudes Blog! May it nourish your soul.



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