Saturday, March 21, 2009

Communion for Forgiveness - The Sin of Judging

Communion for Forgiveness
If the unity of Christians in One Body makes the church, a sign of God in the world, and if men tend unfortunately to conflict and division by reason of their weakness, selfishness and sin, then the will to reconciliation and pardon is necessary if the Church is to make God visible in the world. Nor can this pardon, this communion in forgiveness, remain interior and invisible. It must be clearly manifest. So the mystery of the Church demands that Christians love one another in a visible and concrete way....Christ will not be visible to the world in His Church except in proportion as Christians seek peace in unity with one another and with all men. But since conflict is inevitable, unity cannot be maintained except in great difficulty, with constantly renewed sacrifice, with lucid honesty, openness, humility and readiness to ask forgiveness and to forgive.
Thomas Merton Seasons of Celebration, 216-217

The Sin of Judging - Luke 6:37-42
"Do not judge and you will not be judged; do not condemn and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven; give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for measure you give will be measure you get back,"
He also told them a parable: "Can a blind person guide a blind person? Will not both fall into a pit? A disciple is not above the teacher, but everyone that is fully qualified will be like the teacher. Why do you seek the speck in your neighbors eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbor, "Friend, let me take out the speck in your eye," when you yourself do not see the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor's eye."

Suggested Prayer (by Thomas Merton)

Not a day goes by that I do not find myself judging and condemning the sins and failures of others. With the slightest examination of my conscience, my lack of compassion is obvious to me. Soften my judging heart, Lord. Let me see myself for who I truly am a sinner among sinners. Quiet my judging heart.

Lenten Action (by Thomas Merton)
If Lent is the Church's call to forgive and to be forgiven, how are you answering it?