Begging God’s and your forgiveness and mine

44 How can you believe, when you accept praise from one another and do not seek the praise that comes from the only God? [1]

God brought me to an abrupt halt this morning.  God thought I really needed to be reminded that all inspiration of Truth and Goodness come from him and that to Him goes the glory…that these little thoughts of mine are not really mine at all, but His…that without Him I can, as it is rightly said, do nothing good…that I needed humbling lest my addictive hubris well up into overweening pride and drag me down into even worse sinfulness. Thank You, God, for trimming my sails, shortening my leash, using your crook and your staff to get me back in line.

Have mercy on me, Jesus, and forgive me my faults. I beg the forgiveness of my readers. It is a reminder to follow God, follow Jesus, follow the Spirit, do Not follow me…I may lead you astray as I wander off the Way in search of esoteric erudition instead of humble adoration and praise of He from whom, about whom, by whom Scripture is written. Simply standing in awe or kneeling in adoration before His revelation of Himself, His Word, His love, His overwhelming Mercy is much more efficacious, much more beneficial for your soul, much more redemptive, than wasting time pursuing my scribblings.

For reflections on John’s repetition of today’s verse in Ch. 12:43, let me instead refer you to the most excellent and comprehensive sermon by Bl. John Henry Newman, Sermon 4. The Praise of Men, They loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.” John xii. 43.[2] It is so much better than I could ever do.

You have been told, O mortal, what is good, and what the LORD requires of you: Only to do justice and to love goodness, and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8

 

I also beg myself forgiveness. I had put me on a pedestal, envisioned me, preened over me when I produced and gleaned praise to bolster my fragile ego, set ridiculous standards for me to reach and then chastised myself, berated myself, condoled myself when I fell below them…in other words, played god in making myself my god.

This is not the real me. It has little to do with me. This is not God’s image, the one He gave me, the one He wants me to become, in which I am made. It is a completely fabricated image of tinsel, papers and glue which has no semblance of relationship to the person I am who God loves, for whom God gave You, Jesus, His only begotten Son, so that, in Your great mercy, I might not eternally die because of my sins but that I might die to them and live in You.

Help me, Lord, to let go of myself as idol, my fabricated me, myself as worshipped and fawned over me and cling to You, and to the real me that You gave me at my birth, completely restored at my Baptism, returned to me pressed and clean at my First Confession, fed with Your very self at my First Communion, presented with the power of Your Spirit at Confirmation, lead me to know You through the Jesuits, showed me Your love in Marriage, awakened me to my addiction to myself in the Twelve Steps, identified Your special gifts to me in the Called and Gifted Workshop and Spiritual Gifts Inventory…and continue to put up with me, to love me, to show me Your Way each day in spite of my faults and failings. For all this, I am in awe, I revere You, I love You, I thank You, I worship You, I praise You, I beg Your Mercy and help. Amen. Alleluia!!!

I tell you, in just the same way there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance. [Lk 15:7]

[1] Scripture texts in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C. and are used by permission of the copyright owner. All Rights Reserved. No part of the New American Bible may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

[2] http://www.newmanreader.org/works/parochial/volume7/ sermon4.html.

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