Thursday, March 31, 2011


“Say to them: This is the nation which does not listen to the voice of the Lord, its God, or take correction. Faithfulness has disappeared; the word itself is banished from their speech.” Jeremiah 7: 28

I was driving with some friends recently and we were talking about our GPS devices. We were discussing which “voices” we like to use. Personally, I like “Mandy” because she sounds calm and puts me at ease with her cute little UK accent. Others liked male voices for various reasons. But then we started talking about the GPS devices that “yell” at you or mock you when you make a wrong turn or don’t listen to their directions. One person even knows someone who’s GPS uses the voice of Mr. T from the old A-Team show (“I pity the fool who doesn’t turn left NOW!”). One thing seemed clear though among our group, whenever we took a wrong turn, the device would recalculate and try to get us back on track—but even then we sometimes ignored it.

I think many of us have experienced “back seat” drivers, too. These well-meaning people (sometimes US when we are in the back seat, right?) know EVERYTHING about driving. The fastest way to wherever you are going, which street to turn on, when you are driving too fast (or slow), when you are too close to the person in front of you, where you should stop for lunch or gas and when to use your turn signals. But does the driver often listen to what the back seat driver is saying? Sometimes, but certainly not if the back seat driver speaks with an impatient, harsh or panicked tone of voice. I think if we are driving and someone with us speaks this way, our gut level response (if we are really honest) is to do the opposite just to spite them. Especially when we went the wrong way or our “short-cut” gets us lost.

The point is that none of us likes to be corrected. But none of us are perfect. And so herein lies the problem, if none of us our perfect, that means from time to time we will make mistakes and need to be corrected: by our parents, our employers, our teachers, our friends, our spouses, our relatives—even by our kids. And the reality is that any of us are capable of getting off course or making a wrong turn in life. When this happens, will we have the humility to recognize our need for correction and then accept it when it comes?

How about when that correction has to deal with our spiritual and moral lives? What about when we are told to shape up? What about when we are reminded about God’s commandments or the teachings of the Church? What about when we are living contrary to Scripture? Do we want to be called on this? Are we willing to let God recalculate our souls? This is what the Sacrament of Reconciliation is all about. It is not just about saying we are sorry and being forgiven, it is also about being given the grace and then doing the penance necessary to recalculate our souls back in the right direction after we have turned down the wrong direction in our sin. The Holy Spirit speaks to us through our conscience, sometimes like “Mandy” and sometimes like Mr. T, constantly reminding us of God’s love for us and whether we have responded in kind to Him or not. When we haven’t, we need to have our souls recalculated in the sacrament of His mercy. This Lent, let’s make it a priority to get to confession and make things right with God.

Dear Jesus, I want to have a humble heart that is willing to take correction from You. Please give me the grace to recognize my need for this correction and to accept it with joy when You offer it. Amen.

No comments:

Post a Comment