From Living Faith
‘Examining Our Faults’
St. Peter Damian
Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness;
in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense.
– Psalm 51:3
Last spring I was walking with a friend on a lovely day complaining about someone with whom I had had an unpleasant encounter. As I reached the height of my righteous indignation, she nudged me and pointed to a beautiful flowering bush in full bloom. I had to laugh at myself because the incident spoke so clearly of how I miss the beauty of the present moment when I get stuck in resentment, when I indulge in nursing a grudge.
After that incident, I realized that as my image of God has been healed, I am more willing to look at my faults. I know that I am being called into greater freedom by a God who loves me rather than being shamed by a punitive God who delights in pointing out my deficiencies. Looking at our imperfections should not be an exercise in contempt, but a way in which we become more deeply aware of how our wounds keep us from living with compassion and joy.