"Be kind to each other. - I prefer you make mistakes in kindness - than that you work miracles in unkindness." (BMT)
In a letter to her Sisters, Mother Teresa speaks of the importance of a seeminly simple virtue - kindness. She writes that it is not always the end result which matters - mistake or miracle - but the thought and action behind it. She echoes St. Paul's famous discourse on love: "If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing." (1 Corinthians 13:3)
Kindness is defined as "having gentleness, tenderness, or goodness of heart; benevolence; mercy". Have you ever been brought to tears by someone's kindness towards you? A soft-spoken word or loving gesture at the right moment can bring such comfort. And conversely, a word spoken in harshness can crush another's soul. Mother Teresa continues in her letter: "Be kind in words.- Would that we could keep all our words in (Mary's) heart. So much suffering - so much misunderstanding, for what? Just for one word - one look - one quick action - and darkness fills the heart of your Sister. Ask Our Lady...to fill your heart with sweetness."
Another lesson we all can learn from: Our unkind words, usually spoken in anger or haste, can fester and spread like an infection, poisoning the soul. Even one hurtful word calls down a curse. Is there any wonder evil seems to abound? Instead, let's put on kindness and mercy, call down blessings so that goodness increases. A mistake done in kindness produces humility; a miracle worked in unkindness produces nothing but pride.
Bl. Mother Teresa, pray for us!