The Church of Saint Agnes

1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011

The Church of Saint Agnes
1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011

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Memorial of Saints Cornelius and Cyprian

Date: 
Sat, 09/16/2017
Author: 
Rev. Msgr. Donald Enzweiler

Some people bring out the worst in me.
For example…when I do not observe an expected Christian response
from someone who is supposed to be exercising Christian leadership
or someone who claims to be leading a Christian life.
The worst in me also comes out….
when I observe and/or experience an un-Christian response
from someone who claims to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.
 
The worst in me comes out when someone who claims to be Christian….
is blatantly insensitive, belittling in criticism,
vindictive in reaction, arrogant and superior in attitude, self-promoting;
….when a Christian uses threats to get his/her own way,
bully’s others into submission, is overbearing in demeanor,
treats a subordinate unfairly, does not keep confidence;
….when a Christian trivializes the important and places great emphasis on the trivial,
finds humor in the struggles and failures of others, brags about accomplishments,
pushes others beyond their limits, strives to be in control of everything,
picks a on the weak, take advantage of the uneducated,
hold others in contempt because they are different.
 
The worst in me comes out when Christians do not practice what they preach,
don’t know when to speak and when to remain silent,
don’t give others a chance to speak for themselves;
….when Christians go about living their lives as if their words, their ideas, their desires,
their wants are the only things that really matter;
when educated Christians take the easy road, fail to show courage,
refuse to take responsibility for their words and actions, are always looking to blame others.
 
The worst of the worst in me comes out of me
when I encounter Christians who are self-righteous, deny their own sinfulness,
think they have a special relationship with God,
and can’t accept the possibility that they would ever be wrong or in error or need correction.
 
In response to these experiences, I become scandalized, disappointed, disturbed, frustrated;
I become upset, irritated, confused, perplexed.
Sometimes I’m shocked, dismayed, demoralized.
But most of the time I become angry, sometimes intensely so.
I just want to kick such people in the backside,
or hold them down and give them a taste of their own medicine.
I think about walking away and never looking back…
seeking refuge and protection in my own little universe.
 
So there you have it.  I confess to responding poorly to the shortcomings of others.
I ask pardon and absolution.
 
What disturbs me most is that I know my immature responses find their source in my heart.
They exist at the center of my being.  And I can’t walk away from myself.
 
 
 
 
 
 
There is darkness in my heart.
I have tried to receive into my heart the light of Jesus Christ, but shadows remain.
There are things in my heart that still need to come to light.
And once they come to light, they need to be named for what they are (this is called insight).
Then they need to be removed or altered or adjusted or purified or perfected.
The current condition of my heart needs change.
My desires need to change.  My wants need to change.  My will needs to change.
My thinking needs to change.  My consciousness needs to change.
The Christian name for all this change is….conversion.
By its nature conversion always brings into our heart something that is new.
And my experience tells me conversion is often a painful process.
 
To commit ourselves to Jesus Christ is to commit ourselves to both outer and inner conversion.
 
Today’s prayer:  “O Lord, change my heart.  Or better said, help me to do the work necessary to change my heart.  Show me where the foundation of my very being needs to be strengthened or even replaced.  Only by Your grace, Your Spirit, and the teaching of Your Son Jesus Christ can this happen.  Make is so.  Amen!”