August 2, 2006
I find catchy sayings too often trivial. But lest I lose a good idea by such inbred cynicism, this line stopped me in my tracks. It was amidst the media hubbub during the release of The Da Vinci Code movie.
The group getting blasted by this disingenuous novel was Opus Dei, literally meaning "the work of God." My interest is not to defend them; further, I know little about them.
The point is to note how they handled this misaligned and slanderous attack: author Brown depicted them as a disreputable, devious cult, lurking in the shadows of the Vatican.
Instead of crying "victim," they invited the press to better understand them. They followed the wise words of their founder, Father Josemaria Escriva: "The evil or flippant word of only one man can create a climate of opinion, and even make it fashionable to speak badly about somebody. Then that thin mist of slander rises from below, reaches a high level and perhaps condenses into black clouds. But when the man persecuted in this way is a soul of God, the clouds shower down a beneficial rain, come what may; and the Lord ensures that he is exalted by the very means with which they tried to humiliate or defame him."
Now that's leadership.
Recall the Tylenol tragedy some years back when a tablet was found to contain traces of cyanide? Tylenol was pulled off the shelves, and the debacle turned into an opportunity for designing tamper-proof packaging and a successful re-release into the market.
Criticism, fair or unfair, can be of benefit. Even if unfair, it can be turned into "beneficial rain."
God of all-knowing, whatever is hidden in the criticism of this day, be it slanderous or fair, false or accurate, guard my spirit from a defensive posture. Instead, help me seek to let your light shine, so your life is the resulting reality. Amen.
When handed a lemon, make lemonade.