Dear Sacred Heart Family,
It has been great having Dan join us. One of the things he will be getting involved in is our confirmation program. That began last week with helping them prepare and serve food for Share the Warmth in Adrian. I also taught him and Fr. Tomy how to play dice – one more game for the repertoire.
I want to continue with our theme of new Year’s resolutions. Last week was faith – patience with God. This week is Hope – patience with ourselves. A few things to consider:
How well do we know ourselves, or weaknesses and our strengths?
St. Ignatius says the evil one is like a robber who comes to our walled city and, after having examined all of our defenses, attacks us where we are weakest. The best way to defend ourselves then is to know our weak points so we can shore them and so we won’t so easily be tripped up. While it can be discouraging to think of our weaknesses it is simply good information to help us better live.
We learn to see ourselves in the same light that God sees us in:
Psalm 25:7: “Remember no more the sins of my youth; remember me according to your mercy, because of your goodness, LORD.” This is how God thinks of us, not with condemnation but with love. He thinks of us in the light of His mercy and love.
There is a prayer I love that paraphrases Psalm 25:7 like this “Lord forgive the sins of my youth and stupidity”. Any introspection will dredge up stuff that we are not proud of and we can wonder what God thinks of us, if He can help grow through our mistakes. The answer is yes and we need to see ourselves the same way He see us and move forward with Him.
Don’t despise the small, practical beginning
We hear in the prophet Zechariah 4:6-10: “Then he said to me: “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: Not by might, and not by power, but by my spirit, says the LORD of hosts. Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you become a plain. He will bring forth the first stone amid shouts of ‘Favor, favor be upon it!’” Then the word of the LORD came to me: The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundations of this house, and his hands will finish it. Thus you shall know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you. For whoever has scorned such a day of small things will rejoice to see the capstone in the hand of Zerubbabel.”
Zechariah was looking at the impossible task of rebuilding of the Temple. God encouraged the people to just be faithful and persevere even with small steps. For us, is it any surprise that it takes a little while to break a habit that has gotten entrenched over years of my life? We persevere in the small steps of growth that we can too easily overlook, these works of grace in our lives.
Choose truth consistently:
We hear in 1 John 3:1-3: “See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God. Yet so we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we shall be has not yet been revealed. We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope based on him makes himself pure, as he is pure.”
This is the truth of who are, our identity that nothing can take away. When things get really hard, when we really don’t have any more patience with ourselves, we lean back on these truths.