Today’s scripture readings, specifically:
I am writing this, my children, to stop your sinning; but if anyone should sin, we have our advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, who is just; he is the sacrifice that takes our sins away, and not only ours, but the whole world’s. We can be sure that we know God only by keeping his commandments. Anyone who says, “I know him”, and does not keep his commandments, is a liar, refusing to admit the truth. But when anyone does obey what he has said, God’s love comes to perfection in him. – 1 John 2:1-5
Fr. John’s homily emphasized how we are called to be witnesses of Christ and should always demonstrate this in our lives, speech, home, dress, relationships, work, etc.
While I was getting ready for Mass this morning, I had much heaviness on my heart. I had been recounting my actions from earlier in the week and felt remorseful/beat down. Angry with myself that I didn’t witness recently in the way I should have to people I truly care about. It was eating me up because I was looking for opportunities prior to spending time with these women and I let them go.
When this scripture passage was read today, it struck me and caught me in tears. Because it tells me that I compromised myself, fell in temptation, gossiped, and lost my union with God. It tells me I did not stay in God’s goodness so that a witness would be seen from me instead of my flesh.
I was wrestling in Mass with the thought that I thought I was more rooted in my faith and the other hand grateful this lesson has given me a knock down.
This last occurrence was nothing new. I often find myself in these situations where others judge me because I don’t carry on with them or joke or share sarcasm and so I act by chipping in other ways into the conversation which is just plain wrong. I need to be stronger than this and stay rooted.
I also know straight up it’s wrong to talk about others, but I get confused when I’m sharing about someone whose done something to me and so I speak about it which ends up being a witch hunt fest about the person, which isn’t what I intended it to be.
These are opportunities to witness that I don’t take when they have come. And I know better every time when they happen. It’s not to say that I’m batting zero, it’s just that when I commit the offense it feels like the biggest failure.
Have you wrestled with the same repeated offense? Do you have a similar situation where you are not showing strength?
Some may say “you’re coming down hard on yourself,”, “God is merciful!”
Yes, He is, but I’m thankful for the examination and contrition. To look at it and spend time reviewing what is wrong with it. And finally, not being weak because I feel it’s just easier to join in instead of saying NO.
I’m not perfect! I don’t pretend my life with Christ hits all the right buttons. I’m surrounded by different women who live their faith in multiple ways. We are not all like minded. The majority of women in my life are divorced or have never been married. In my opinion, I say it is easier to carry on with other women who don’t have bitter life struggles. In a way, I want to say faith hasn’t been tested in those circles like those in my life who have been cheated on, children addicted to drugs, financial strain, faithless outlooks. The walk in a sense, has not been bouquets of flowers, Polaroid snapshots, and walks in wheat fields. Does that sound harsh? I’m just trying to paint an image.
In my world, I have to pray and be present with my Lord so that those rosy escapades I do know about, because God’s grace has shown me this over and over, can be seen in my witness with those who are still living among the thorns and thistles. That one day a simple witness from me will encourage another to see Our Lord wants them to also receive a fragrant bouquet from their trials and offer it up to His glory.
Thank you Lord for the remorse I experienced, to change it into virtue. To be given strength by the Holy Spirit and truly desire to stay away from failing to witness.+++