A man was kneeling in church by himself and thinking that God was mad at him. From his perspective he deserved to have God be mad at him. He just couldn’t conquer his sins, especially the habitual ones. He would try, but would always end up falling. God had had enough, this man thought, and God wasn’t going to put up with it anymore!
These thoughts were not bringing him much peace.
What advice would you give this man? Is he coming to the right conclusions about his present relationship with God? Is this how you feel about your relationship with God?
Being alone is a terrible thing! We’ve seen over this past year what being isolated can do to a person, especially the elderly among us. We were not created to be alone, we need to be connected to others. Sure, the technology helped us, and we are grateful for it, but we all know that it really can’t become a permanent replacement for being connected—to knowing that we are not alone. Another, even more dangerous form of isolation, is feeling alone in our sins. This is where God wants to touch our lives the most. This is where the connection can really happen, and where we can develop a true sense of hope and peace, even in our struggles.
So, we need to change our way of thinking. We need to realize that God doesn’t want us to be alone in our suffering and in our sins. The more we “think” that God is mad at us, the more we end up not letting God be God in our life.
So, when we feel alone in our sinfulness, or isolated or disconnected, what’s the best thing to do? What would actually be more pleasing to God? It’s not trying to make superhuman efforts on our own to completely eliminate our imperfections or sins. It’s knowing how, as quickly as possible, to recapture our peace so that we can avoid sadness and discouragement.
Here are some basic things to remember: God can do more for us when our souls are at peace. We have to understand that it is only the grace of God that can free us from our sins. So, it’s better to regain peace (in other words, calm down!) and let God act.
What’s more pleasing in God’s eyes, to be discouraged and tormented or frustrated? Or is it better to say a prayer like this:
Dear God, I ask your forgiveness, I have sinned again. Sadly, Lord, this is what I am capable of doing when I’m on my own! But I abandon myself to you with confidence because I know that one day You will heal me completely and, in the meantime, I ask you to let the experience of my weakness help me to be more humble and considerate of others. Also, let this experience make me more aware that I can do nothing by myself. I must rely on Your love and Your mercy.
Today, Christ says, “Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing.”
Christ is more concerned with whether or not our hearts are in the right place. So, we have to be careful not to actually give in to the sin of pride which makes us think we can solve our own problems.
St. Francis de Sales once wrote: “Nothing slows the progress in a virtue so much as wanting to acquire it with too much haste!