We've all heard time and time again of so-called "jihad" concerning Islamic fundamentalism and its ideological links to tyrannical radical Islamic terror. But "jihad" is really about declaring "war" on self - i.e. self-mortification; self-denial; self-control etc. in order, fundamentally to be a better person, to be a more rounded human being. Selfless, more compassionate and considerate and full of humility, which as CS Lewis wisely said, is not about "thinking less of oneself but thinking of oneself less."
Not the Destination...
Back in the 90s, when I was private secretary to Bishop Patrick Kelly of Salford Diocese, he would often say that we should not declare, 'Lord forgive us our faults and failings.' He said this because in his view [and I agree with him], "faults and failings are what happen with railways, not human beings. People commit sins, and we shouldn't be afraid to say the word sin!"
“I once was blind but now I see … Was lost but now am found.”
Only those who have experienced human brokenness for themselves know how powerful the lyrics of Amazing Grace can be. I used to think they were cheesy and I’d roll my eyes whenever it was sung. But I have been broken. And God knows I have been lost and blind in the darkness of my shame. I have also been found. My story is not an easy one to tell.
One of the most surprising –and quite frankly, disturbing- things I have learned since being an online marriage prep instructor is how many Catholics don’t actually know what a Sacrament is. They have been raised Catholic and sadly for one reason or another, they have not grasped the beauty of what grace is all about.