Catholic commentary on culture, media, and politics.

Monday, September 19, 2005

The joy of self-regretfulness

To me, any thought that inspires humility is a good thought. Try this one on for size: Ever read something -- or done something, or wore something, or believed something -- ten years ago that you now look back on and cringe?

Think about it. We tend to naturally feel rather mature and "in the prime" at any given moment. Yet the self you were a decade ago, who now makes you cringe, is in all-too-real continuity with the same person you are today. And this is the same person who's provide cringe fodder for a decade from now.

A good thing to keep in mind when tempted to take our precious opinions and current ways of living too seriously and the good Lord and his gospel Way too lightly.

Only One among us the same "yesterday, today, and forever" (Letter to the Hebrews.)


Blogger Patrick said...

You should see my "spiritual journals" from college. Pathetic pleadings for "change." Day after day. Month after month. Year after year. I threatened to throw them away and was reprimanded by Kate K who said, "You a-hole. Don't you dare."

I can't believe it was 13 f-ing years ago that I arrived at FUS. Just can't believe it. AT. ALL.

11:03 PM

Blogger Patrick said...

Welcome to possessing the remnants of what St. Paul calls "the old Adam." Relentless, cunning, down-dragging, discouraging -- and impossible to overcome by own own efforts. Paul begged the Lord to remove his "thorn." The Lord refused. And partly as a result, Paul became Saint Paul.

I can relate, although I wouldn't necessarily call heartfelt pleas for change pathetic. Sad that you use sneer quotes around the word change. Kinda perpetuates the while cyle, no? (Change is possible only when valued.)

Still, God knows us very well. You should read MY spiritual journals of a decade ago. Yikes. I sound more or less like the screwed up guy I remain today. No prayer goes unanswered, but wisdom and understanding refuse to percolate instantly.

The five most beautiful words, IMHO, ever strung together were done so by John Donne:

In His will, our peace.

But getting attuned to that will is the soul's lifework. Yearly, monthly, daily, hourly, minutely...with a humiliatingly high number of falls, missteps and sins to trip us up. Satan is the one we should be pissed at, not God.

10:58 AM


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