Many times I am approached about attending a seminar, joining a group, or attend an event in order to deepen my faith only to decide:
- I don’t have the time to commit to this right now
- It does not interest me at this time
- I don’t think I am ready for this
- I don’t need this
Recently I was asked to join a 90 day experience for Catholic Men to help release me from the day to day things that can get in the way of being a strong husband, father, and Christian. All 4 of these excuses came to mind and I tried to use them with our Parish’s Parochial Vicar when he asked me to consider joining this group. The difference is he knows me too well and would not let me off the hook. (He claims I have a lot of experience to offer, I am not sure I do after this morning. I think I have a lot to learn.)
After the first week when we met as a group to discuss how that first week went his first question was to ask each of us to share 1 good thing and 1 bad thing from the past week. I sat in silence wondering what I was going to say as the men around the table shared their experiences. When he came to me I sat for a moment and then made a lame excuse and asked why didn’t Fr and I discuss it in private after the meeting was over. Fr. looked at me and said no, part of this experience is to be open and honest with the group and share our experiences as we grow in our faith. As I said he knows me all too well and he knew he had me. I finally admitted that I had not really invested the time to be involved, even to the point of stating I almost felt guilt-ed into joining the experience. I did not feel “called” to this experience. I thought I had a strong prayer life, I was a good father and husband, and I was busy enough getting ready for an even more important vocation.
Even week 2 has been a struggle to accept all the “practices” of this 90 day experience. Then this morning after my morning prayer I pull out the meditation book that our group is following. The meditation is below.
( At least by now I am trying to get involved I thought)
The reading for this day in our group was from Exodus 5:1-4, Moses and Aaron are asking Pharaoh to let the people go into the desert for 3 days of worship. Of course Pharaoh dismisses them saying he does not recognize their God.
I started reading the meditation and it hit me like a gut punch. Was my pride, my puffing up, my ego, keeping me from an experience that could further change my life? The guilt I felt right then told me the truth, no matter how strong of a prayer life I have, no matter how good of a husband and father I think I am, I can never measure up to what God is willing to give me. If I am truly called to experience this new vocation then this is 1 lesson I need to learn first and foremost.
Humility is a gift from Heaven, it gives us hope and love. Pride gives us nothing but hurt and disappointment, If our Pride gets too large someone will call us out and embarrass us but if we are truly humble we are always offered more than we feel we need or deserve. My brothers and sisters, please forgive me for my past prideful moments. I am truly sorry, and I ask our Lord to help me remember this lesson well. God Bless you all!