Sunday, March 18, 2012

You've Been Outbid

You've been outbid.

I've been spending too much time on ebay. The phrase is in my head and it's playing on an endless loop.


Too much of life is like that. Bidding on things that catch the eye. Disappointed when we don't get what we've set our hearts on. Upping the ante. Losing anyway. Quickly finding a new bauble to take our minds off the one that got away.


You know what... there is one place where I like to hear the word outbid.

In the confessional.
Where I'm absolved from sin.
When the enemy of my soul has to listen and flee.

Before Confession on Saturday, one woman sat down near me and said, "Well, here we are. Sinners." I nodded, but soon, I thought, a new word will replace that one. Forgiven. Sinners, yes. But soon...

You've been outbid, satan. The Blood of Christ has paid the price.

Precious Sacrifice.
Holy Offering.
Lamb of God.
Perfect One.

Plunged into the sea of Divine Mercy. Yes, the enemy of our soul has been outbid. Jesus Christ is the highest bidder for your soul. And He's waiting for you in the Confessional.


Friday, March 2, 2012

Peter, Paul and Denise

I've been thinking about Peter. He loved Jesus. I can imagine him crying out, "Surely not I, Lord. I will never betray you."
I think one of the things I realize (now that I'm Catholic) is that I have a better view of myself. The view isn't always from a flattering angle, either.

Click here.
I used to think I was deeply in love with Christ - and I was---still am.

But Lent (and an array of Catholic practices) makes me realize that I am not as wonderful as I once thought.

And yet, I am far more holy than I once was.

Seems like a paradox, doesn't it?

Peter had been with Our Lord for two years. He loved Jesus. Without a doubt, he would have followed Our Lord to the ends of the Earth.

But in a moment of panic, He forgets all of that. His confidence in his own love for Jesus doesn't keep him from denying Christ. In fact, Peter denies the Lord he loves three times.

Face-to-face with one's own weakness - that is Lent. That is this now-ness. It is a spiritual place where I know how much I love Our Lord. Oh, so very much! And yet, I see my weakness. My confidence in my love for Jesus isn't enough. It is dangerous to be too sure of one's self. It is risky to think I will never compromise my love for Christ in exchange for a momentary escape. If Peter did it, I shouldn't be too sure of myself.

"I tell you, I do not know Him!"

I say Peter's words when I fail. When I sin. When I do not do the good I wish to do, but do the evil I do not want. (See St. Paul's Letter to the Romans 7:15-19)


A season for looking deeply into the tomb of one's own weaknesses - and realizing how much I need Jesus to help me remain faithful.

It is possible to abandon the journey or to get lost along the way. It is possible to lose out on the crown of glory. Beginning a journey doesn't mean one will definitely complete the journey well.

But, one cannot end it without beginning it. And so, we begin, praying that He who began a good work in us will be faithful to complete it. (See St. Paul's Letter to the Philippians 1:6)

Eyes on Christ. My confidence is in Christ's mercy and grace.

Not on my own "mountain of love" that will surely keep me from denying...

For I know how very weak I am. Even so, let us run the race - with hope.

Every athlete exercises discipline in every way. They do it to win a perishable crown, but we an imperishable one. Thus I do not run aimlessly; I do not fight as if I were shadowboxing. No, I drive my body and train it, for fear that, after having preached to others, I myself should be disqualified. -A Letter from St. Paul to the Church at Corinth (I Cor. 9:25-27)