Do Over, don’t do little

“The Kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown into the sea,
which collects fish of every kind.
When it is full they haul it ashore
and sit down to put what is good into buckets.
What is bad they throw away.
Jeremiah 18,4-6a

The Kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown into the sea,
which collects fish of every kind.
When it is full they haul it ashore
and sit down to put what is good into buckets.
What is bad they throw away.
Thus it will be at the end of the age.
The angels will go out and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.
Matthew 13,47-50

There are do-overs. But how many we get is up to God.

Make every prayer, every Profession of Faith, every Sacrament… a genuine entrusting of yourself to God with the willingness to embrace or relinquish whatever He wills. Some eager souls need to proceed at a slower, more human pace. Too many penitents, however, need to quit the game of changing as little as possible while still hoping that their lives will turn around. Far too many prodigal sons and daughters have no real plan to amend their lives but instead think that just “trying harder” will make the difference. That’s not a “Do Over”. That’s a “Do Little”.

“Do good and avoid evil” is the goal, not the plan. Have a plan. From one confession to the next, from one Mass to the next, try to have a concrete set of expectations to which you can hold yourself accountable. For instance, “I will go to bed by x:00 p.m.” or “I will pray x decades of the rosary every day” or “I will not watch television” or “I will visit/call/bring a meal to at least one sick/homebound/homeless person every day”. At some point you will have developed a Plan of Life that requires less tweaking. But most of us aren’t any where close to that point.

That effort you made last Lent. Keep making that effort with each season of the year so that next Lent is not going back but going deeper.

This prayer might help:

Prayer Before Reconciliation
Come Holy Spirit,
give me Your light to see my sins,
and give me Your help to be sorry for them.
Show me why I sinned.
Help me never again to sin on purpose.

C

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