In our age of multiple communication methods, it is too easy to fall short in the virtue of courtesy. We have all experienced it and have done it ourselves. One example: When someone is talking to us in person or on the phone, we have zoned out or tried to do other things while the other person is talking. It isn’t enjoyable to hear the keyboard clicking in the background on the other end of a phone call.
Courtesy lets us pause before attempting to “multi-task” when our attention should be on the other person. When we show respect, our actions and body language tell the other person that they matter in this moment. Granted, it isn’t easy to be attentive, but in these little ways, we form our interior discipline of listening and treating others with respect.
We all desire to be heard and seen, and we expect this from other people. Courtesy starts with us and how we live it each day. As with all other virtues, it is good to remember, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (Luke 6:31).
In all of visible creation, only man is created for friendship with God.
To continue our brief weekly reflection on a doctrine from Echoing the Mystery, I want to focus on the dignity of the human person. Rightfully, October is set aside as the month of the Rosary and respect for life. When we recite the Rosary, we move the rosary beads as we reflect upon the life of Christ, and it sets before us why life is sacred. The human person is created for friendship with God, and by Christ’s Passion, Death, and Resurrection, we are restored to this friendship. By sharing our human nature, Christ made a way for us to share His divine nature. Let us hold the truth before us and recognize our dignity as a son or daughter of God and of our neighbors.