Posted by: cmittermeier | January 25, 2011

Falling off the wagon … what confession is for

I am proud of what I have to write, because it means that personally I am not desperately trying to hid it.  Getting us to hide our sinfulness is one of the enemy’s tricks.   In the words of St. Ignatius of Loyola,

The thirteenth: Likewise, he acts as a licentious lover in wanting to be secret and not revealed. For, as the licentious man who, speaking for an evil purpose, solicits a daughter of a good father or a wife of a good husband, wants his words and persuasions to be secret, and the contrary displeases him much, when the daughter reveals to her father or the wife to her husband his licentious words and depraved intention, because he easily gathers that he will not be able to succeed with the undertaking begun: in the same way, when the enemy of human nature brings his wiles and persuasions to the just soul, he wants and desires that they be received and kept in secret; but when one reveals them to his good Confessor or to another spiritual person that knows his deceits and evil ends, it is very grievous to him, because he gathers, from his manifest deceits being discovered, that he will not be able to succeed with his wickedness begun.

Yes, the enemy is easily undone when we come forward with our failures so he tries hard to get us to hide them.  Think of a child who had been told many times not to touch the campfire and finally succeeds in playing with a burning log only injure his leg.  If he hides it, no salve can be given and the flesh will not only take longer to heal, but may scar.  If he overcomes his fears of reprimand, he will heal faster, without infection and will not scar.   It does not take away the consequences but lessens them and lets him get back on with play much sooner.

I am such a child.  I could hide from you that yesterday I came home from an appointment and ate chips for dinner.  I could avoid tell you that other than my appointment with my coach did nothing in terms of exercise.  I could avoid telling you that I didn’t eat many veggies and turned instead to carbohydrates and as a result my blood sugar danced around like a yo-yo.  I could avoid telling you that today I did not test my blood sugar at all.

But then the enemy has control over me and I’m left dancing to his drum.  It would turn into a big mess quickly.

So I am confessing it and will do what is needed to lessen the consequences and hopefully this won’t leave a scar, though it will delay my play.  I know from much experience that God will be there with his hand on my shoulder to protect me as I heal.  That is the best part of confession, the graces that come with it.  My regular confession time is Saturday, but as I won’t be able to make it (other commitments) I will arrange for something an evening this week.

“What, confessing directly God and us isn’t enough?  You need a priest?” you ask…  go check out Matthew 16:19.  Anyone who has been to an ordination, or other rite where authority is transferred from one to another gets what I mean by apostolic progression.  If you have never had a rite or authority transferred to you, study the old testament.  When people got old, they didn’t leave a will saying how things were to be divided, they transferred it themselves along with a blessing.  Our church has been doing the same since Jesus first said the words in Matthew – from generation to generation.  Priest to priest.  So yes, I do have to go to a priest.  It wasn’t given to all of us, just them.

“Excuse me for asking, but how is not following proper eating habits and not exercising a SIN?” someone else asks.

The 5th commandment implies I must not kill.  What exactly would you call abusing your body to the point where it will break down on its own?  Slow suicide is still suicide.  Though I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt when my Father died that God took him HOME, I also knew my father had screwed up.  He smoked, he was overweight and in general at 53 he still maintained a bit of that youthful “I am invincible!” that allows people to destroy their bodies.  Not to mention that I’m not really showing much self-love when I do this to my body.

If God had designed my body any differently, at this time in my life I would far too easily be able to brush off one day’s worth of mistakes and sit on the laurel leaves of invincibility.  But God has made this very easy for me.  One day off the wagon leaves a big impact.  My adhd has been down this road many times before – I know where it goes if I don’t get right back up.  My hypoglycemia was really out of control yesterday.  I only had minimal veggies and fruits on Sunday and instead of staying in a 2 point margin, my blood glucose varied 4.4 points.  Not to mention the MSG in the chips has set off a migraine.  When he sets up early warning systems to say, “YOUR OFF TRACK, TURN BACK” He does it in spades.

Now, for all of you who started January with the best of plans only to find sometime before this entry that you left the wagon train – get back up, we’re sending many more wagons to pick you up.  You should not focus too long on what you have done wrong – look long enough to find only one thing you can change next time and then get back at it.  Getting us to ruminate on what we did wrong is also one of the enemies tricks – don’t do it.   If you don’t stand up to the enemy he will have more power over you… again, in the words of St. Ignatius of Loyola:

The twelfth: The enemy acts like a woman, in being weak against vigor and strong of will. Because, as it is the way of the woman when she is quarrelling with some man to lose heart, taking flight when the man shows her much courage: and on the contrary, if the man, losing heart, begins to fly, the wrath, revenge, and ferocity of the woman is very great, and so without bounds; in the same manner, it is the way of the enemy to weaken and lose heart, his temptations taking flight, when the person who is exercising himself in spiritual things opposes a bold front against the temptations of the enemy, doing diametrically the opposite. And on the contrary, if the person who is exercising himself commences to have fear and lose heart in suffering the temptations, there is no beast so wild on the face of the earth as the enemy of human nature in following out his damnable intention with so great malice.

So fight back!  Find one thing to change and move forward!!!

What is my one thing… a bit more sleep, a lot more water, and then a walk to pick up more blood sugar test strips!

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