Wednesday, August 6, 2014

How Can I Sin So Easily?

When I think on Peter’s thrice denial of the Lord, I most often consider his lack of faith.  I make an excuse, even for him, thinking that he and the other apostles --- despite all they had seen and heard--- still had doubts about who Jesus is, until the Resurrection removed all doubts, and Pentecost removed all fears.
But I often forget the Transfiguration, and today’s feast day reminder.  Peter, James, and John should have had no doubts about who Jesus was.  They saw the glory of Christ; they heard the words of the Father:  “This is my beloved Son.”  They saw!!  They heard!!  How could Peter not know?  Knowing, how could he betray Jesus?   
And yet, he did.  And yet, Jesus designated this one, Peter, as the best to lead His Church on earth, this very visible, KNOWING, betrayer, a sinner.
I think that I, perhaps, am sometimes too hard on myself.  I’d like to believe that I have a deep faith in God, a strong trust, an eternal hope.  Yet when I sin --- as I inevitably do --- I am ashamed.  I believe He is God; I know His laws; and I turn away from what I know, and I betray Him.  If it seems a big thing, this betrayal, I’ll stay away from mass, and the desire to receive Him, when I should not.  I think a little about the possible stares of those who see I am not going up, but in truth I quickly forget my shame --- unlike the scene I recall from the movie of Peter falling at the feet of Mary and John, crying loudly:  “I have betrayed Our Lord!”  And I feel the same.
But even Peter, who saw the Transfiguration, the Glory of Jesus as God, sinned.  Why do I sin so easily?  Not to make excuses, but I must remind myself: I am not Peter.  I believe, but I have not seen.  How weak is my faith.  Why am I surprised that I so easily sin?  I can hate my sin without hating myself, and this is the attitude I must espouse.
Lord, I am not worthy to receive You, but only say the word, and my soul shall be healed.
On those days of sin, I speak those words at mass with a deeper insight and meaning, as I continue to kneel in the pew while others go up, until the time of confession comes for me, when I say in the presence of Mary and John and Peter and all the saints:  “Lord, I have sinned against Thee; I’m sorry; forgive me.
Wash away my iniquities, and cleanse me of my sins.
And I trust my soul shall be whiter than snow.

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