So early yesterday morning I found myself sitting in church once again mentally going over the week that had just past.
I was happy to be quietly sitting in my pew and even happier that the priest who was saying Mass was someone I enjoy listening to.
As the familiar and comforting celebration of Mass unfolded, I began to think about some of the things that I said or did that I wished I could take back: times when I was impatient, times when I offered my two cents when I should have kept my mouth shut, times when I cursed a blue streak because I felt stressed and times when I had some really bad thoughts.
What can I tell you?
I’m a sinner in search of healing and I’m constantly asking for God’s forgiveness and grace because I am weak and human, and as much as I try, I usually end up making some of the same mistakes over and over. I know I need a lot of work even though I really do to try very hard to be aware of the triggers for my sins.
Anyway, Mass was moving along and at this point I was sort of half listening to the words being said because I was also checking out the weekly parish bulletin and The Catholic Standard. Hmmm. There’s a story about Joe Gallagher’s funeral. I have to mail that to my sister, Sheila. Look at this, I said to myself reading on. Oh and the Christmas Bazaar will be held on Saturday, November 8. I wonder when they are holding the Book Fair? I guess I missed the date for that. I’ll have to go online and see if I can find it.
My eyes then wandered to the stained glass windows and I began to stare at them, trying to think good thoughts. I heard the priest start talking about love and how Jesus loves all of us no matter what! (I certainly hope so because that’s what I am banking on!) Then he just blurted out, “Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.”
Okay now he had my full attention for I had never heard the saints and sinners homily put quite this way before.
Wow! What a positive message! This is exactly the kind of real life inspiration I always need. I know the Bible is full of wise and prophetic stories but it just doesn’t resonate that much with me. I like it much better when the priest is direct and down to earth about life; especially when he takes from his own experiences. I kept thinking about what he said and the more I thought about it the more it stuck with me.
The idea that all is not lost even though I may have screwed up big time is profound. The idea that even though I tried last week to do the right thing and I sometimes fell short (Okay. A lot of times fell short.) there is hope for me that things will be better. This week maybe I can make small inroads into some of my behavior and try to turn a few things around.
That is why I am a hopeful sinner. Tomorrow will be better right? I really don’t want to sin and I certainly don’t go out of my way to sin but it just happens and then I’m sorry it happened. I try to catch myself but I don’t always do it in time. Are you familiar with any of this readers? I think I can hear you saying yes!!!
Life is challenging for all of us and we have our moments of feeling defeated. But sliding back to our starting point doesn’t mean we can’t try again. Just the act of trying has a meritorious effect. Hope is a healing mantra.
Hey new week!! Here we come again!!