Friday, September 9, 2011

Planks and Specks

Fri. 23rd Week Year 1
Lk 6, 39-42

A number of years ago when I was novice mistress, I was peacefully writing at my desk one day when a novice burst into my office exclaiming, “I can’t stand it!  I can’t STAND it!  I CAN’T STAND IT!”  “What’s the matter?”  I then listened in open-mouthed wonder to a long diatribe against a fellow novice which accurately described in remarkable detail the outstanding faults of the very novice who stood before me.  Why is it that we get so upset over the faults of other people?  Sometimes because they are a wonderful distraction from our own.  We especially like to denounce our own faults that we find in our fellow human beings.  It is so painful to admit our shortcomings and so difficult to dislodge them.  What a relief it is to be able to abhor them in someone else and to generously offer assistance in correcting them.  Yet, we have no power to correct anyone’s faults but our own.  And we have no qualification for trying to give anyone advice that we have not tested on our own selves!   As our Lord put it, let us remove the plank from our eye first and then we can see clearly to help our brothers or sisters remove the specks from their eyes.  But an interesting thing happens in the process.  When we work hard to correct ourselves and we discover how hard it is, we become more patient and forbearing with the faults of our neighbors.  We are all sinners together.  And we begin to suspect that perhaps some of the things we get so upset about really are not all that important after all.

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