Brett Kavanaugh was ceremonially sworn in to the Supreme Court Monday night, and his remarks contain a spiritual lesson for all of us who face trials, especially those created by other people.
“Although the Senate confirmation process tested me, as it has tested others,” he said in the East Room of the White House, “it did not change me.”
He explained that his approach to his job would not be affected by the gauntlet he’d been subjected to. But that’s not all he was referring to.
“In the wake of the Senate confirmation process, my approach to life also remains the same,” the justice continued. “I will continue to heed the message of Matthew 25. I will continue to volunteer to serve the least fortunate among us. I will continue to coach, teach, and tutor. I will continue to strive to be a good friend, colleague, husband, and dad.”
This was a man who had truly been put through the wringer, one who had been accused of some of the most despicable things imaginable. He had seen his good name dragged through the mud. Even worse, he had seen his family threatened and humiliated by people willing to believe anything about him without a scintilla of corroborating evidence.
And despite all that, he had just been sworn in to a lifetime appointment to one of the most coveted positions in his profession. He had every reason to at least throw a few barbs at the people who tried to destroy his life in the process, or at least be a little bit vengeful about it. But he chose to take the high road and keep his efforts focused on what’s really important.
That’s a level of virtue that we can all aspire to, and it offers a lesson for all of us: No matter what happens to you, never stop growing in virtue or trying to be a better friend, a better spouse, a better parent.
Catholics, like the Kavanaugh family and me, recently observed the feast of St. Therese of Lisieux. St. Therese famously said, “Holiness consists simply in doing God’s will, and being just what God wants us to be.”
And by his words, America’s newest Supreme Court Justice has shown that he has no intention of letting what happened to him and his family stop him from striving to do just that.