MIRRORS FOR THE HEART
HEDWIG LEWIS SJ
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St Paul’s Cathedral in London contains a famous Gallery, where the slightest whisper travels around the whole dome, the sound bouncing back many times from the smooth wall. If one puts ones ear close to the wall, one can hear what is said on the opposite side of the dome, even though it may be said in the lowest of tones.
A number of years ago, a poor shoemaker whispered to his young lady that he could not afford to marry her as he hadn’t money enough to buy any leather, and his business was ruined. The poor girl wept quietly as she listened to this sad news.
A gentleman on the other side of the gallery, which is 198 feet across, heard this story and the shoemaker’s whispered prayer, and he decided to do something about it.
When the young shoemaker left St Paul’s, the gentleman followed him, and after finding out where he lived, had some leather sent along to the shop. Imagine how delighted the poor man was! He made good use of this gift, and his business prospered so that he was able to marry the girl of his choice.
It was not till a few years later that he learned the name of his unknown friend. It was the Prime Minister of Great Britain, William Gladstone.
There were many visitors in the Cathedral, some with their ears to the wall, that day, but only Gladstone responded to the cobbler’s plea to God. That was because he was listening with his heart!
The hundreds of anecdotes and stories in Mirrors For The Heart, appeal to your innermost being. Each of them is like a little mirror that reflects your heart-to-heart dealings in life – your relationships at home, at work, in society at large, and your attitudes and ability to ‘share life and love’ concretely with others, especially those in need.
The anecdotes and stories in this book have been reproduced, adapted, or abridged from multiple sources of varied descriptions – life-experiences, books, magazines, newspapers, brochures, calendars, posters, films....
Mirrors For The Heart provides interesting material for writers and speakers, teachers and preachers. The stories can be used for meditation and prayer-services, as well as for general instruction, entertainment and in conversation....
You, dear reader, now have these ‘mirrors’ in your hand. Let them enlighten every corner of your heart. Use them effectively to touch the hearts of others in the best possible ways.
P. S. The heart is fragile; handle it with care.
A RANDOM SAMPLING
In a fairly large office set-up, one of the employees thought of a novel way of spreading joy, cheer and good will. She took a bouquet of flowers to work one morning. She gave it to one of her colleagues and told him he must keep the bouquet on his desk for half an hour; then pass it on to someone else instructing them to do the same, without mentioning who gave it to him or her.
The woman had real fun when, later in the day, the bouquet returned to her desk and she passed it on. No one was aware of who started the circle. But it made everyone happy that day.
A social psychologist and syndicated columnist, Dr George W. Crane, once formed what he called "The Compliment Club". Those who sought membership to the club had to follow the rule of paying three compliments a day, one to each of three different persons, for a month. Members were encouraged to compliment even compliment strangers.
Dr Crane said, "You can sincerely compliment your worst enemy, for no human being is totally lacking in merits."
It is said that compliment-giving is contagious.
Faithful After Death
An Italian labourer who used to prepare excellent wine, would gather together his large and scattered family for an annual celebration. At dinner, he would pass around his homemade wine. Everyone would sip the wine and compliment him on its superb quality. This brought him immense joy. He died, leaving many of his untapped bottles in the wine-cellar.
"Now," said a family-member, "every time we all get together, we continue to share a bottle of dad's wine, and sense his presence as still being with us."
True love doesn’t have a happy
The Spirit of Helping
On a raw winter night in 1994, the late Princess Diana dropped by a shelter called Off The Streets to comfort 40 prostitutes, drug-addicts and other homeless Londoners. As they waited, a swaggering 23-year-old told Paul George, the social worker in charge, "I don’t know about these royals. I think the IRA should shoot them all. She comes in here, we can give her a good one."
Diana walks in, and he’s the first person she sees in that big warehouse. She goes over to him, and says, "It’s Ricky, isn’t t? Didn’t I meet you when you were sleeping down in the Strand?" And he just melts.
"That’s right," he says, "I’m getting myself together now..."
"There was no financial benefit when she made a private visit," explained George. "Money is not what it is about. She wanted to know what life was like for people less fortunate than herself. And she wanted to make a difference by showing that she cared."
Mother Teresa’s Approach
Mother Teresa of Calcutta founded her Order, the Missionaries of Charity, to care for the sick, the destitute, the orphans, the dying. It was her strong conviction that helping the helpless is "the simple duty of us all."
One day, at the first home she established for incurables in Calcutta, a man half-consumed by cancer was brought in. The stench was so offensive that the make attendant on duty walked away retching. Mother Teresa herself offered to help the patient. The suffering man, who could not care less about living or dying, and unaccustomed to such tender loving treatment, cursed loudly. He wanted to be left alone to die. Turning to this stranger woman, who was attending to him he demanded, "How can you stand the smell?"
"It’s nothing," replied Mother Teresa gently, "compared to
the pain you must be feeling."
It was the week before Christmas, and the shops on the main street were
fairylands filled with tantalizing gift-items. A woman shopper noticed a little
boy, barefooted and dressed in rags, pressing his nose against the glass of a
shop-window. She caught hold of his little hand and took him into the shop. She
made him take off his rags and dress himself in new clothes and shoes. Back on
the street, she told him to go home and have a happy Christmas.
The hundreds of stories in this book can work like magic; they can transform your heart! Each story is a small ‘mirror’ reflecting a ray of ‘reality’ – happenings, attitudes, personalities, relationships, – that enlightens the mind and warms the heart.
Mirrors For The Heart can be used for personal reflection, or as a source of inspiration by speakers, preachers, teachers, and pray-ers! The stories have universal appeal, to young and old, everywhere.