Thursday, August 12, 2010
Catholics who don't go to Confession miss a lot of things. Besides missing on the opportunity to receive the grace of forgiveness, they also miss on the opportunity to know themselves in a deeper way and to discover their defects from the perspective of another person, in this case a priest.
That is what I received last Sunday after our monthly Sacrament Sunday with our spiritual director Fr. Dan. After confessing the litany of my misdeeds and sins for the past month, which he has already heard a million times from me before, he advised me to pray the serenity prayer often.
And then it struck me like a lightning bolt.
I discovered right there and then that I have this personality trait of insisting that things and persons should behave the way I see fit. Or else, it will greatly upset me to the point of casting unfair judgments and criticisms against others and thereby make myself miserable in the process.
Fr. Dan reminded me that I am living in a fallen world, an imperfect world, where there is disorder and disharmony that can turn my world upside down if I let it affect me too much. That although there are norms and rules that should be followed by everyone to preserve order, there will always be someone who is not going to go towards that direction. That I cannot expect people to act the way they should all the time because everyone grew up with different backgrounds and perspectives in life.
That is why I need to accept with serenity and total surrender that there are just things in this world that I cannot change no matter how much I want to. Other people will always hurt and offend you no matter how kind and sincere you strive to be towards them. People will always say bad things about you no matter how much you strive to do what is right. It is indeed really impossible to please everyone. Some people will always be on the other side of the fence and I just need to accept that as a fact of life.
Thus the prayer.
Let go and let God because the fruit of letting go is serenity.