Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Time for a new cup ?

from " The Word Among Us - Daily Meditations for Catholics "

Tuesday, August 25, 2009 : Matthew 23:23-26

Many homes have a junk drawer or catch-all closet that the owners don't really want other people to know about. When company approaches, stray papers and miscellaneous objects are quickly deposited into these hiding places. And with these distractions out of sight, the house appears orderly, and guests get a good impression. Still, just out of view is evidence of at least some degree of disorder.
This kind of quick, easy, and superficial remedy can give us an image of what our spiritual life can be like. It can be tempting to clean the "outside of the cup" instead of tending to the inside (Matthew 23:25-26 ). The fact is that if we don't take care of what is inside of us, we risk becoming bound to the same sins that we keep committing.
We all know that it is easier to manage our image than to deal with our flaws. It is easier to focus on what we have done wrong than it is to examine why we do the things we do. But this is exactly what we need to do if we want to see freedom in our lives. Only by getting to the root causes of our sins will we be able to overcome our sins and draw closer to the Lord.
This emphasis on root causes and self-examination is at the heart of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. we all know that Confession cleanses us from our past sins. But there is more to this sacrament - which the Catechism calls a sacrament of healing (CCC, 1421) - than simply dusting off our sins. If we were to examine our motives, our attitudes, and our philosophies of life, we would probably find aspects of our lives that need the healing light of the Lord.
Approaching Reconciliation in this way can help bring order and peace to our inner lives so that we won't be so susceptible to temptation. God wants to heal us and restore us, not just forgive us. He wants to make us into a people set apart for him. And for that to happen, we need to look at the "inside" as well as the "outside" of our lives.
"Lord, you know my heart, and still you love me! Grant me the grace to see my life as you see it, and the courage to come to you for healing."
Examining the beam in my eye has found sin to be isolating me from full commitment to relationships - I have kept both work and personal relationships at arms length, going it alone, and this has lead to my many deaths. I have not expressed my concerns to employers and customers openly and freely for fear of what ? - death, I quit anyways. So now I would rather commit to open discussion rather than excuse myself . I pray I will have the strength and understanding to broach subjects that have up to the present yet to be spoken of .

The specks I have seen are either ignorance or maliciousness, that if I had broached, the ignorance would be enlightened or the maliciousness exposed.
I have also seen a limited discussion between mothers and mothers-to-be, ballooning the situation to be as obvious as the nose on a face . I have seen mothers longing to be closer to their daughters but a wall in communication has been so firmly planted that there seems to be no way to circumvent it. I have seen daughters longing to be free to express their full love for their parents and others but unable to establish a way to express it, failing miserably with the limited means at their disposal. The situation festers like a nail in the flesh that has not been removed .

Is it time for a new cup ?

Cleansing the inside of the sippy cup will not keep the old cup from leaking when an adult drinks from it. What is needed is to discard the old cup like a naughty child throwing it away beyond recovery so that a new cup can replace it. What parent would not replace a cup ? What child would not thirst sufficiently to accept any cup offered ?
This is the forgiveness of Christ and not the repentence of John the Baptist. It requires a "death" to self and to the present for a new heaven and a new earth to be born, and rebirth of the persons, not just their approach to their problem of sin .

The wages of sin are death. Do not eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, or you will die. Do not judge unless you want to be judged. The measure that you use for others will be applied to you .

I pray that we can all bear our cross and die to our sin through confessing it to the ones who are closest to us in the faith that many blessings of forgiveness could be bestowed, if not by others than surely by our loving Father and our mercifull Lord Jesus Christ .


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