If you are looking for my blog titled, The Contemplative Catholic Convert, you are at the right spot.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Good Place to Start this Lenten Season

I wrote this years ago and then promptly forgot about it, until tonight, while I was waiting to receive my ashes during Ash Wednesday Mass.

And the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us of all sin (1 John 1:7)

As soon as I opened the door I knew something was wrong.  Rotten, actually. But I was already late for work, so I grabbed my lunch sack from the top shelf of the refrigerator and darted out the front door. My wife was out of town visiting her parents, so I planned to take care of the rotted whatever-it-was when I returned home later that night.

That was my first mistake.

My inbox at work grew inches with each passing hour. I didn’t leave work until after dark and the thought of starting dinner when I arrived home left me weak-kneed. I decided to grab dinner at a nearby restaurant.

By the time I arrived home, cleaning the refrigerator was the last thing on my mind. I plopped in front of the television to unwind a bit from the day. An hour later I headed for the shower and the bed. I’d take care of the fridge in the morning.

That was my second mistake.

The next day, my mistakes overwhelmed me when I opened the refrigerator door. The pungent stench of rotted cabbage filled every corner of the house. I slammed the door shut and glanced at my watch. I’d be late for work if I didn’t leave soon. I grabbed an apple and rushed out of the house. The fridge would have to wait.

When I returned from work ten hours later, the odor that had settled over the house left me no choice. I tossed the cabbage --- and the lettuce, tomatoes and celery laying nearby. Then I scrubbed the fruit and vegetable bin with bleach.

That’s when the spiritual truth dropped into my mind.

Like slowly rotting cabbage, sin is never a private matter. If left unchecked, its stench will seep into and ruin every corner of my life, my home, my community . . . my nation.

No one needs look further than the morning newspaper, whose pages drip with stories of greed, lust for power, and sexual immorality run amuck. And behind the headlines lie broken families, crushed dreams, ruined lives.

Of course, as one might expect, there is a better way. A much better way. God’s way. He has proven it true in my life. He's proven it true in the lives of millions of others. Give Him a chance and He will prove it true in yours.

Perhaps especially during this season of Lent, the Act of Contrition is a good place to start:

O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee; And I detest all my sins because of Thy just punishment, But most of all, because I have offended Thee, my God, Who art all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy Grace, to sin no more, and to avoid the near occasion of sin. Amen.

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