This weekend our priest gave a great Homily. It really hit home with couple things that I have been dealing with lately, confession and finding some direction in terms of my faith. If you reading my site before it crashed and I started over you might have seen a post about “Struggling with confession,” so you probably already knew about that one. What I didn’t discuss in that one was the struggle I have been having with spiritual direction. The Homily this weekend kind of crystallized what it was that I have been thinking about, even though I really didn’t even know it.
Ok, I will go ahead and say it, since we have been going to Mass with Father N.M. we I can’t remember a bad homily. That is a pretty good track record. We have be going to Mass with him for just about a year now and I think there was one time when I looked at my wife after Mass and said, something like “that homily was not up to his standards.” Don’t get me wrong, it was still good, but it didn’t move me the way most of his do. That was not the case this week.
So what did he say that hit so close to home? If you don’t know about the tragedy that happened in Connecticut this week, you have probably been living in a hole somewhere, because even I, and I do my very best to avoid news like that, knew about it. So the Homily did have some notes about that. Following that he talked about returning to God in two very important ways. The first way was through confession. I am going to paraphrase him.
We live in a society where we think we know better.
In other words we are all Cafeteria Catholics. I could write an entire post about that term and how much I dislike it, but that would get me off subject here. When I heard this, my first thought was really? Do we really think that we know better than God? The only answer that I can come up with is, yes we do. That really scares me. More and more and a society we seem to be turning our backs to God. More and more we seem to think that we know better and we really only need to follow the rules that we think are important.
So what do we do? Father N.M. had this to say about that. Again I am paraphrasing him.
The way back is through confession.
As this is something I am struggling with, I can say, yes I know he is right. But yes, I will admit that this is one of the hardest things, at least for me, to do. I have taken steps to make sure that I fix this but it is still hard. There is still a lot of fear, but I am working on it.
He is right here, of course. The first step toward making things right is finding that peace with God through reconciling yourself with Him, and obviously, there is a Sacrament for that. Father M.N. said one other thing during his Homily that I is related to this and this one leads me back to the title of this post.
If we want to start fixing the problem, we can’t look to someone in an office hundreds of miles away, or even the people around us. We have to begin with ourselves. Like the song says “let there be peace on Earth and let it begin with me.”
I have to admit that I didn’t understand that line in the song until this weekend. I never really saw it from that angle. Not give me peace first, but let me find peace and then give it to others. Without that peace within ourselves we have no hope, and the same is true for everyone around you. It is funny that I only now understand the lyrics of this song despite having read something long these lines in a book by Cardinal Dolan earlier this year.
So what does this have do with finding spiritual direction? In this case the answer is very personal. I have, for a number of years now, felt called to do more. I didn’t know what that more was, or even how I would accomplish it, or even it was really a calling or just kind of wishful thinking. I have had a couple of conversations on this topic lately and I think that I am starting to develop at the least and idea of what in need to do next. It begin with confession and continues down that road toward finding that peace.
One of the councils that I got about helping to figure this out was that I needed to write every day about what I was thinking on the subject so that I was positively focused on it. (No pressure to write every day or anything right?) I don’t know that I will post those thoughts here, but I might highlight them here, because I figure maybe, just maybe I am not the only person out there feeling like this. I am still looking for that spiritual leadership but at least for the moment I think I have an idea about where to start.