Image: George Mendoza
Good morning, good God!
They say, Lord, that the pastor preaches
what he himself needs to hear...
I often look back on my homilies
with just this thought in mind
and I'm doing that this morning
with yesterday's homily still fresh in my heart...
I have some things to get off my chest, Lord,
and so I offer them to you
as a confession of faith,
at least a confession of the faith I want to have...
I offer you the fantasy, Lord,
that my relationship with you
was first my idea...
I offer you the confused notion
that the love you so freely offer me
depends somehow on my goodness...
I offer you, Lord, the mistaken idea
that my misfortunes are owed to your neglect
but that my successes are due
to my own wisdom and initiative...
I offer you the misunderstanding
that my sin-sick soul might repulse you:
you who are my Divine Physician,
whose only care is the healing of my heart
for making it holy and happy...
I offer you the foolish thought
that you might withhold your pardon, Lord,
until I'm contrite:
how often I forget that it's only and always
your merciful Spirit
who moves my heart to repentance...
I offer you, Lord, the crazy, mixed-up ways I forget:
- that you're the CreatorSet me straight, Lord, on who's who
and I'm the work of your hands...
- that you loved me first,
that my love for you is my grateful response...
- that your forgiveness
anticipates my contrition, and even my sin,
for the depths of your mercy are never exhausted...
- that every joy and blessing I know comes from your hand,
that no trouble or pain I face escapes your notice
or goes without your gentle touch...
in my relationship with you...
Open my eyes all day long
that I might see the ways in which you work
to draw us closer together...
Remind me often, Lord,
that yours is to give and mine to receive what you offer,
that when I've received what you've given,
I need only to thank you
and be generous in sharing with others along my path
what you have shared with me...
Help me to practice what I've preached, Lord,
and to believe that I am what I am, by your grace:
that who I truly am is who I am in you and nothing more
- and nothing less...
I offer you my prayer this Monday morning, Lord,
and every night and day this week...