Wednesday, December 7, 2016


What do you do with that pesky sin you can’t seem to shake?  Go to confession.  Pray about it like St. Paul prayed to have the thorn removed from his side.  Maybe even the thought came that this is something with which you may have to learn to live.

Or maybe someone else needs prayer.  Maybe the only help they will receive is from you.  You know their sin, you know what a struggle it is, you know the traps, the triggers, the aftermath, the helplessness.  Who better to pray for them than one who suffers similarly?  Instead of turning inward with an attitude of “woe is I,” a prayer might be offered in earnest, “Lord, you know I understand how this person struggles.  Deliver them please.  Set them free.  Give the courage, strength, and fortitude that they need to be a better version of themselves for you.”

The problem with sin is that it is a radical turning inward; what I want, what I need.  Prayer can turn into the same thing.  Some of the prayer is great.  But if prayer becomes so focussed on the self; my pain, my regret, my cry for mercy, my wanting help to get over this desire; then it does not fully embrace the cure which is to turn outside of oneself, to radically turn outward in love, devotion, attention, and assistance.   

We are a Church of sinners.  But do we also want to be a Church of people turned in on themselves and concerned about their own problems?  Or would we rather be a Church that as a community tries to help each other dig ourselves out of our sins?  

Today I am sending out a prayer for assistance and mercy for all those who struggle with the same sins with which I struggle.  I love you.  More importantly, God loves you.  May you receive what you need today to carry on the good fight.


Anonymous said...

thank you! another insightful, thoughtful post.

Anonymous said...

It is not a weakness or a selfishness to feel a pain we cannot stop. Falling on our knees, crying out to God, seeking strength is not christian weakness, but Christian obedience.
We all have a thorn to bear. Some are victims of several experiences of abuse and rejection. This is often a pain we cannot control, it overtakes us time and time again. What do we do, when we find we cannot STOP our psyche from ruminating? We return to Christ. We ask again, that if it be His will, please remove the thorn, just like St. Paul. THEN, we offer our suffering for those who suffer, too. We cry to our Father because he loves us more than anyone else can understand and love us. And then, we turn outward, asking God to allow us to go into the world loving others, serving the suffering, especially those suffering similarly. Because we have our own thorn, we are better able to serve others.