I am reading and using two different books of reflection right now. The first is Saint Teresa of Availa for Every Day, by Kieran Kavanaugh, OCD, and the other is The Psalms: Meditations for Every Day of the Year, by Joan Chittister, OSB. I have just begun the December readings and today....synchronicity! Don't you love it when that happens?
Sister Joan's focus for the whole month is on Praise. In today's reflection she tells us to praise not just God, but people "in whom we see the gifts of God", urging us to "praise someone today".... , and to then "watch the good things of God multiply before your very eyes."
The reflection from Teresa of Avila, my spiritual giant and mentor, read- "If you see a person praised, the Lord wants you to be much happier than if you yourself were being praised." Now that is a hard one.. if I am not the one in control, giving the praise, what do I notice in myself? A bit of fear, a glimpse of jealousy, or a glad heart and and affirmation for the praise given? With whom do I feel the first, and with whom the later? And, why?
I have experienced it for my children, or husband....people for whom I have a kind of self-sacrificial love. The kind of love that borders on God's love for us.. a dim version, but it must be the joy God feels for us.
Herein lies some wonderful questions to take before God in prayer/quiet meditation, or to take to a spiritual direction session, so that the Spirit may shed light on what I most likely keep hidden from myself about this, and to ask for the grace of humilty, to "be much happier for the other, than myself".
Perhaps the "good things of God" Joan writes of include the gift of humility, and love for all others. For I suppose that is what God desires and intends to happen through praise, on His behalf.
May you praise others so that the things of God multiply before your very eyes.