Jun 15 — Tuesday of Week 11 in Ordinary Time
2 Cor 8:1-9
Pray for those who persecute you
To walk the talk of Jesus — that is what my heart desires, but my feet stumble. Often. Daily. Some days, it seems all I do is stumble. C.S. Lewis has given me comfort in his words, “If we only have the will to walk, then God is pleased with our stumbles.” That is a quote I read every morning in my quiet time, and I know it helps me to get up again on the days I stumble, and even more so on the days that I am skipping along just fine in my flesh and end up on the ground.
It can be difficult to be kind and do the loving thing to/for those we love, and sometimes it feels impossible to be kind to those who are unkind to us. But as followers of Christ, we are called to do more than be kind. Jesus tells us to pray for, to love those who hate us. And the simplest and most common way to NOT follow Christ’s words is to focus on ourselves only. The world tells us we ‘deserve’ to be happy, that we should only do things that bring us happiness, that we have a right to be happy, a right to do what we want, a right to do WHATEVER we want. That’s actually the mantra of the pagan, ‘do whatever you want’, and it plays out quite loudly these days. The pagan way of life actually is the opposite of love; it tempts us into running away from Christ, and without even knowing it we stumble, and stay down in the stumble so long that we don’t even know we are on the ground crawling, dying, in the mud and muck.
I am grateful for the saints and all the holy men and women in scripture who have stumbled, from Adam and Eve to Mary Magdalene, from St. Peter to St. Thomas Aquinas, to Mother Teresa. They are our role models –- and knowing they stumbled, some so deep into a pit it seems they should not have been able to recover, gives me hope. They stumbled and then they stood in humility, and asked for forgiveness.
If you’re like me, asking for forgiveness in the confessional can be difficult, embarrassing and filled with shame. But it is in confession that God is most pleased with our stumbles because it is a visible sign –- to our selves –- that we recognise our stumbling and we are asking for His help. We recognise there that we have been crawling when He has given us the ability to walk. And there He strengthens our legs and guides us on His path.
It is human to stumble.
Stumbling gracefully comes through daily prayer.
Stumbling into grace is a gift.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Gina Ulicny)
Prayer: Father God, how we praise your name for the gifts you lay before us with every step we take. For the guidance you give us on our walk. Help us in our desire to walk with you every step, and are grateful for the times you carry us.
Thanksgiving: Thank you Father, for the gift of your grace that You allow us to fall into when we stumble. Thank you for the saints in our midst who help us to keep from stumbling, and thank you for your mercy and forgiveness that allows us to stand after each stumble.