Every church I’ve visited has candle stands. People light candles as an offering for intentions that they bring to the Lord. And invariably, attached to the candle stand is a donation box. The box typically has some writing on it, suggesting a monetary amount of $2.00 or so (the amount varies).
I confess, in my youth I have visited many a church, lit a number of candles and presented numerous petitions to the Lord. But – not always have I put in the customary $2.00, exactly, in the box. I know I have fallen short, often. No one knew and it never bothered me.
As my spiritual life has grown, I had an epiphany. God knew! How could I have gone into the house of the Lord and done that? The irony struck me hard.
God sees everything. He knows everything. He knew us before we were born. He knows our imperfections. And yet his loving kindness envelops us. He is full of mercy ever willing to welcome the repentant sinner just as the prodigal son (Luke 15: 11-32) was feted by his father after a life of sin.
Previously, I have never given a thought to the seeming ease with which I was able to reconcile or even rationalize this apparent incongruity. This sudden awakening made me think of other areas in life where we may fall short. There are many, but I’ll only list two :-).
- The odd comment(s) about a person that puts them in a bad light in the mind of another.
- When negative comments to people brings their spirit down, possibly unintentionally.
I am becoming more conscious of the little (or not so little ways) in which we do not give our $2.00 to situations that come upon us, every day.
Perfection should be our goal. Will we reach it? I hope so but possibly not. But God sees us trying and if we ask for it, He also gives us the grace to overcome and succeed. Will we stumble? Sure, we are Homo sapiens after all!
So, I get up in the morning, knowing that I will probably muck up things, commit new blunders (sins) or repeat old ones and I ask the Lord to give me strength to resist the temptations. And with every passing day, I know I am moving a step forward in my walk with the Lord. As I overcome each trial, I get stronger. Some days I falter, and have to start again. It’s okay, I tell myself. I am trying, and have committed to keep trying. And very sincerely I resolve to add the Act of Contrition to my daily prayers.