Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Friday, September 2, 2016

1 Corinthians 4: 1-5

Brothers and sisters:
Thus should one regard us: as servants of Christ
and stewards of the mysteries of God.
Now it is of course required of stewards
that they be found trustworthy.
It does not concern me in the least
that I be judged by you or any human tribunal;
I do not even pass judgment on myself;
I am not conscious of anything against me,
but I do not thereby stand acquitted;
the one who judges me is the Lord.
Therefore, do not make any judgment before the appointed time,
until the Lord comes,
for he will bring to light what is hidden in darkness
and will manifest the motives of our hearts,
and then everyone will receive praise from God.

δούλος του θεού. I am a servant of God and a steward of the mysteries entrusted to me. Saint Paul reminds me that I am to be found trustworthy and will be held to a higher standard. But he also tells me that as long as I am being the best δούλος, doulos – servant, I can be I should not concern myself with the judgment of others. This is a reminder we all must take to heart for the devil will use this tactic against us if we allow him to.

Over Christmas break during Aspirancy 1 I came under such an attack. I do not have the perfect Catholic family (none of us do). My family is all new to the faith and learning it more as I move through formation. One afternoon I had a conversation with the devil that went pretty much like:

“So, you are called to be a deacon huh? What gives you the right to stand up and preach to the congregation on how they should be living a Catholic life? You can’t even get your family to follow even something as simple as no meat on Fridays during Lent. You are nothing more than a great big hypocrite.”

Hmm…sounds logical to me.

“Of course it’s logical. What could be more logical? Fix your own house first before you go off demanding others live accordingly. You’re just as bad as the Pharisees who tried to trap Jesus.”

Hard to argue with….

“If you can’t be a deacon, and that’s what you think you were called to be, why are you even still in this Church? You don’t deserve to be here. You’re nothing more than a two-faced hypocrite.”

I was distressed. I bought the lies. I was on the verge of not only leaving diaconate formation but walking out of the Church altogether. Luckily I had a loving wife who talked me in off the ledge.

I learned later that I was not the only one in my class the devil came after. After sharing this story others sought me out to share their similar experiences. Together we know better.

No, I am not a perfect Catholic. There has been only one perfect Catholic in human history and she received extraordinary grace from the moment of her conception. The Church isn’t for the perfect. It is for the flawed and broken. We all are flawed and broken. The more flawed and broken we are the more we need the Church.

I am called to be δούλος του θεού. I am not called to be perfect, not yet anyway.

God use my brokenness as a tool to bring others to a saving knowledge of your love.

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