September 9, 2016
by Pat Borchers
Creighton University's School of Law
click here for photo and information about the writer

Memorial of Saint Peter Claver, Priest
Lectionary: 441

1 Corinthians 9:16-19, 22b-27
Psalm 84:3, 4, 5-6, 12
Luke 6:39-42

Praying Ordinary Time

About St. Peter Claver, S.J.

I believe anyone who engages in honest self-examination who reads today’s Gospel must feel at least a twinge of regret for actions taken in one’s own life.  In my case, it’s more than a twinge — it’s veritably a knife to the heart.

I can be extremely quick to judge the actions of others yet blind to those or worse faults of my own  I won’t bother trying to list all of the times this has occurred.  You probably don’t have all day to devote to reading this reflection.  But in general I can be easily wounded by criticism, but all too willing to deploy my sharp tongue on others.

For a good deal of my adult life I was one of those Catholics who made sort of a pro forma confession during Advent and Lent and sometimes not even then.  I viewed the Sacrament of Reconciliation as being sort of scary.  But one New Year’s Day I made one of those rare resolutions that stuck.  I was going to start going to Reconciliation at least once a month and hopefully more often than that.

I found that going when I didn’t feel pressured into it that it was a tremendously uplifting experience and by not waiting too long between confessions I could be more honest about my sins and shortcomings.  In other words, with a little help I actually could get the plank out of my eye, at least for awhile.

If you’re like I was for far too long and seldom in the confessional I suggest just going one week.  It helps me to get my thoughts together before I go in.  Sometimes I’ll make notes.  It has made a big difference in my life.

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