I first began attending Mass when I was in my late teens. I was smitten with a handsome Catholic guy who was serious enough about his faith that he attended Mass most Sundays. At one point, we were asked to bring the gifts down the aisle to the priest.
I was super nervous, very self-conscious, and particularly distracted by my hem length. Was my skirt too tight or too short? Why are they asking me? What if I trip? My boyfriend leaned over and said, “Just walk down the aisle, hand the priest the gifts, and bow.”
Bow. Did he just say bow? Why was I supposed to bow to the priest? Why was I supposed to show him that deference? He is just a man, yet I was supposed to bow.
I am a rule follower by nature so I did as instructed, although I bowed mostly with my head rather than from the waist. I was still concerned about that skirt length, after all.
When I converted to the faith years later, I found such comfort in the Church’s teachings on sin and forgiveness. My personal sin and weakness can be purified by the love and sacrifice of Jesus Christ. When I expect perfection from myself, in effect, I am trying to eliminate the need for a savior. And when I expect perfection from those I love, it leads to disappointment and damaged relationships.
If I allow it, my weakness can make me more patient (Hebrews 5:2), but only if I allow God’s grace to continue to work within me.
Now, when I find myself beset with impatience at my own failings or the failing of others, prayer is the only answer.
The next time you are frustrated with your weakness or disappointed in someone else, release those emotions to the Lord through prayer. It may not solve every problem, but it is how we start cultivating a more patient heart. May the Lord provide peace, understanding, and direction sufficient for all our imperfections.Prayer is the only answer. // @maryruthhackett Click To Tweet