This month I want to share a few random ramblings, food for thought.
Authentic Faith: Fr. Pendolphi gave a homily a couple weeks ago about “Authentic Faith”. The jist was there is a difference in practicing your faith for the good of God, vs. practicing your faith for the good of yourself. I thought about that a bit and asked myself how genuinely, how authentically I exercise my faith. I think I measure up okay but I still need some work in this regard. One good way to ensure that a good deed is genuine rather than ostentatious is to not let anyone know you did the deed. Offering up a prayer for someone without telling them is an example. However, there are times that you know a person will receive greater comfort and support if they know you are praying for them. Sharing the fact that you pray for another is also a good way to openly express your faith and give glory to God by recognizing His love and mercy. Really it boils down to only God and myself truly know how authentic my faith is. I am best armed by remembering always that a good act can turn into something more self-serving than serving to others. If I keep that in mind I can guard against selfishness.
Reconciliation – God’s Authentic Love: Sometimes it takes me a while for things to sink into this noggin of mine. I have written in the past about confession and how much we gain from it. By the nature of the act of Reconciliation we focus heavily on ourselves, and that is good and necessary. We gain so much from reconciliation. Burdens are lightened, the weight of stain is lifted from our shoulders, we are renewed. That God has given this sacrament to us is a beautiful measure of His love for us. God surely didn’t have to give this to us, nor would anyone disagree that in human terms, at least, we so often don’t deserve such open and inviting mercy. God is a God of pure love and through that pure love He continually keeps His arms open to us and invites us to share through Him that love. What I finally realized is while we are busy focusing on ourselves when preparing for Reconciliation, what a beautiful expression of giving glory to God it is when we step into that confessional. By stepping into the confessional we express God’s glorious nature not only because we show belief in God’s mercy but also we are recognizing that God has the power to forgive our sins.
Authentic living, an example: Just recently my door bell rang. When I answered it there was a girl probably about 11 or 12 and her Dad. It only took a second to see the young girl was upset. Her Dad asked if the car on the street was ours and then told us he and his daughter were riding bikes and she accidentally hit the side of the car. With that the girl started to cry and said “I’m sorry”, with obvious sincerity. Since it is my daughter’s car I went into the house to get her before taking a look at the damage. When we got out there we indeed could see some minor damage, basically an 18 inch scratch in the paint. The girl began to cry again and said she was sorry. Without a hitch, Brenda gave the girl a hug and said it was no big deal. She told her it was an old car and that she understood it was an accident. Brenda also added that she was grateful the girl and her Dad told us about it instead of continuing on, that it was the right thing to do. Brenda could have justifiably been upset, but instead by her actions she consoled the girl, reinforced that it is best to admit to a wrong even if accidental, and reaffirmed that we have the capacity to show compassion even when we have been wronged. Both the girl and her Dad were quite relieved, and I was proud of Brenda. Her actions were a message of compassion to someone who most likely did not expect it.
Pat Rosmarin, Lecturer