Friday, August 10, 2012

The Upright Generation Shall Be Blessed

The Upright Generation Shall Be Blessed

August 10, 2012
Feast of Saint Lawrence, deacon and martyr

By Melanie Rigney
Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. (2 Corinthians 9:6)
Blessed the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in his commands. His posterity shall be mighty upon the earth; the upright generation shall be blessed. (Psalms 112: 1-2)

“Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there also will my servant be. The Father will honor whoever serves me.” (John 12:26)

Lord, grant me the courage to confess the sins I most fear bringing to You.

I attended an event recently that left me a little unsettled. The speaker, a priest, in essence said that if we hold back when we go to confession (he most pointedly did not use the word “Reconciliation”), we negate the sacrament’s benefit. I started one of those internal monologues that amounts to asking how many angels can dance on the head of a pin:

·         What about things that you just don’t think are worth discussing, that are one-time aberrations, not recurring bad behavior?
·         What about behavior that should be confessed, but it hasn’t risen to that point on your internal radar screen, that is, it’s an excess or poverty of spirit that you don’t recognize yet?
·         What if it’s something that you meant to confess but you honestly forgot?
·         What if it’s behavior that on the surface seems totally confession-necessary, but when you consider the circumstance in its totality (like the disciples foraging a field on the Sabbath) it really wasn’t a sin?

Fortunately, at some point, the priest recaptured my immediate interest with a story.

But as I read today’s readings, I became convinced I’ve again made it all harder than it needs to be. While God loves us all to distraction, if we squander opportunities to draw closer to him and become more Christlike, can we be surprised if He pulls away? If we only follow Jesus when it’s convenient, do we really think our lives won’t be the poorer for it?

I still differ with that priest on an incomplete confession being of no benefit. If you’re quaking in your boots about voicing your innermost wrongs, maybe that less-than-total reconciliation will give you the courage to put it all out the next time. Maybe through an incomplete confession, you’ll come to believe your harvest can be bountiful.

What are you holding back from discussing with your pastor, spiritual director, or group reunion? Try saying it out loud first in a place where you know no one else can hear you. Make the self-damning words lose their power.

No comments: