Giving my two dollars

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.

Dear God,

I am heartily sorry for all my sins and detest them,

Because I have offended Thee,

And because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell,

But most of all because I love Thee my God,

Who are all good and deserving of all my love.

I firmly resolve with the help of Thy grace to confess my sins, do penance and sin no more. Amen.

Psalm 119:133 – Direct my footsteps according to Your word; let no sin rule over me.
Psalm 51: 1-2 – Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your unfailing love; according to Your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.
Mathew 6:14 – For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
1 John 1: 9 – If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
Proverbs 28:13 – Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.
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