Sunday, March 10, 2013

I need to repent...




Thinking about the readings this morning...

It occurred to me that a truly repentant gay man - who led a very promiscuous life - could indeed be called by God to be a priest.  If he returned to the Church and reformed his life and renounced the lifestyle completely, he could be like the prodigal son in today's Gospel... clothed in priestly garments.  Perhaps that is Fr. Sirico and others like him?  Interestingly, Sirico never talks about his conversion and reformation and he remains a priest.  On the other hand, I can think of one famous penitent priest who talked about his dramatic conversion all of the time, yet he left the priesthood and apparently returned to the world.

I need to repent.

Yesterday something happened to me.  I went to confession instead of going to pray the rosary when I got to the church.  I left home early, hurried to accomplish an errand before I got to church for my hour with Our Lady before Mass.  On the way - I had a run in with a young woman.  Literally - I bumped her car ever so slightly while squeezing in to a tight parking spot.  No damage done - but she was very upset.  I was so startled by what I considered her over reaction that after being really nice about it, giving her all my information and so on, I tried to blow her off.  She then shouted at me - in tears, and I came to my senses.  I listened to her - really listened - and realized I had treated her with disrespect by trying to blow her off.  I was so shaken by my hardness of heart, that after everything was settled - I apologized and thanked her for her reprimand.

I abandoned my plans, went to church, and made my confession.  This woman broke through my self-righteousness, my smugness...  I can't adequately explain how deeply the encounter affected me.  It's an amazing thing to have one's conscience suddenly, unexpectedly revealed.  "If a good man reproves me, it is kindness," as the psalm affirms. 

I need to repent.

I came across a note I made in my book of the sayings of the desert fathers.  I had written:
The odd thing about Christians is how they turn around the commandments, 'Do not judge, do not condemn, and give without counting the cost' to argue on how and why they must judge, they must condemn, and how they need prudence and discretion in how and what they give.
 
And that is one of the ways I can become convinced of my own self-righteousness, while looking down on everyone else... even when I'm in the wrong.

I need to repent. 



Art: Prodigal Son, Giorgio de Chirico 

6 comments:

  1. Oh, bloody hell, now you have me thinking that even I need to repent!

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  2. When you first described the event I thought you were within reason to just give her your info and be done with it. But because you saw her level of upset and decided to take time with her rather than brush her off, I saw what you were saying.
    It seems like you were given the grace to understand your heart. And that you got to go immediately to confession, also was a grace.
    None of us should be surprised that we sin. What matters is our response.

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  3. There’a lesson in today’s Gospel of the danger of disproving judgement and condemnation. Such was the level of anger and unforgiveness in one brother’s heart that he excluded himself from the kingdom of heaven and the celebration for the repentant sinner, despite his mericful father’s plea to come inside.

    That truly is the danger for any of us as there is no room in heaven for an unforgiving heart.

    And we are shown at the very first Station of the Cross how condemnation and false judgement is the start of the trail that leads to death,

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  4. A few years back a I found out that I a guy I knew had aids was serving food after Mass to my children.

    When I confronted the pastor, his response was that he had decided the guy was safe. But it was not his determination to make. Those are my children he was potentially putting at risk.

    The pastor apparently was more concerned with the feelings of the guy than he was with the safety of my children.

    Sometimes adult f-up and the consequences last a lifetime. Let them repent, but that doesn't mean we act as if nothing previously occurred.

    ReplyDelete
  5. What the heck is that supposed to mean? Your children were in no danger.

    ReplyDelete
  6. LTG, You know that AIDS isn't transmitted by serving food, right?

    ReplyDelete

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