Public Enemy #1 - Part 2

I wrote an article on Monday called Public Enemy #1 about my encounter in adoration.  In that email I challenged you to think about the #1 habitual sin in your life, and I offered some suggestions that have proven to be helpful for me personally in the past.  There was a second insight from adoration that day that I had planned to share today, but something happened this week that I just had to tell you about.  I'll save the second adoration theme for next week. 

I took my own advice.  I spent some time as I went about my day thinking about my own life, asking God to reveal my weaknesses to me.  That's always a dangerous prayer because you might not like the answer you get.  He's so gentle with us though.  He doesn't reveal it to us all at once.  Instead, he reveals it to us over time.  Inviting us closer to Him one step at a time. 

I had some ideas after day 1, and by day 2 it was pretty clear what I needed to work on.  I didn't like it.  It was something I'd previously rationalized and assigned blame to someone else.  I've confessed it many times before, but I didn't realize how pervasive it was.  I took it to prayer that night, and wrote a prayer that I wanted to share with you.  Before I do that, I want to share 2 prayer ingredients that are key to this exercise bearing fruit.


The first sorrowful mystery is the Agony in the Garden.  The fruit of that mystery is "Sorrow for Sins".  When Christ prayed and wept in the garden, He was praying for US...BY NAME.  He knew us before we were born, including all of our sins, and loved us anyways.  He died for us knowing every way that we would sin.  We hurt Him, we hurt ourselves, and we hurt our loved ones when we sin.  It's so important to let that sink in.  We do ourselves no favors when we rationalize, blame, or excuse our failures.   


Once we have expressed true sorrow for our sins, run to our Savior.  No matter how many times we fall, we are never out.  There is always HOPE.  God allows us to fall so that we have an opportunity to return to Him, and learn to rely more on His grace than our weakness.  That's what we're doing when we fall, trusting in ourselves instead of God.  


With those ingredients in mind, here is the prayer I wrote:

"Heavenly Father, please forgive me, I beg you.  Have mercy on me, a poor sinner. You have given me everything, and I squander it daily in my [sin].  What a tragedy those moments are.  Thank the Heavens that you are so merciful, patient, and slow to anger.  Your grace abounds all the more when my sin overwhelms me.  Help me Lord, compelled by the ugliness of my sin, the knowledge of Jesus Chris, and the grace available to me through the sacraments, help me fight valiantly against this hideous sin.  Even if I should lose battle after battle, in my defeat draw me close to You that You may tend to my wounds, chastise me in your merciful love, teach me and strengthen me that I might hold my head up high and fight again, armed with the confidence that Christ the King is my Lord and Savior, and no war is lost when Chris is our commander.  Praise be Jesus Christ, my Redeemer.  Bless me in battle, vanquish my enemies, and whatever you allow I trust it is for my eternal good.  I welcome it."

I hope you take some time this weekend and give some serious thought to what habitual sin you want to eliminate in your life this year.  I'll write to you again next week, and share the second insight from adoration.

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