It’s 2137. After a long day, it’s nice to relax and sip on a delicious beverage. That’s why I’m drinking pickle juice. Salty and satisfying.
I’m in the midst of a 24-hour fast. It ends tomorrow at 0840. I’ve survived so far on water, but I’m drinking pickle juice now so that I don’t pass out (it’s happened before). The sodium is just what your body needs to get through the final stretch.
I went to P3 tonight. Three P’s: Prayer, Penance, and Pub. I didn’t go to the Pub because I’m fasting, and also because I have a bedtime. I also didn’t go to the Penance because I went yesterday. But I did go to the Prayer, which in this case is adoration of our Eucharistic Lord. Needless to say, it went well.
I prayed on the same thing I did yesterday, Mark 10:46-52, hoping it would bear more fruit this time around.
I read the passage once, and tried to envision myself in the scene. Placing yourself in the midst of the passage is a wonderful way to pray; it engages the senses and leverages your imagination, and the results can be wondrous. Sadly, I was, again, too distracted. I tried for a few minutes, and decided I’d read the passage again.
I got stuck—in a good way this time—on the second part of verse 52: “Take heart. Get up. He is calling you.”
For context: Bartimaeus is a blind man who wishes for healing. He learns that Jesus is walking by, and begins to cry out for him. The crowd around him shushes him, but he cries all the louder. Finally, Jesus asks the crowd to send him over, and the crowd obliges: “Take heart. Get up. He is calling you.”
This is the universal call, no? We are all blind—not literally, but certainly spiritually. We all possess self-induced blind spots, whether they are problems we don’t want to think about, or things that just make us uncomfortable. And in our blindness, we sin. If you’re like me—and, I suspect, most people—you sin frequently (and if you’re reading this, you should go to confession soon).
What matters is not the sin. We are all sinners, save two people in history. What matters is what happens next. Do we despair? Do we wallow in our shame? Do we persist, saying, “Well, I messed up once. Might as well take advantage of it before I go to confession (everyone needs confession, especially the person reading this).”?
That’s the easy way. It’s also the way to despair, temporal and eternal.
The way of triumph—also the harder way, much harder—is to rejoice in the fact that sin is escapable. That you have been given so great a Savior that no matter what you do, no matter how far you have fallen, there is still hope. That even though we are not worthy of it, God’s love is so great that he is willing to forgive every awful thing you’ve done so that you can be with Him forever, and avoid the utter torment that is hell.
That way is to persevere in holiness, even if it feels impossible. It is to redouble your efforts, no matter how many times you have before. It’s to go to confession, even if it’s been years and you don’t even know what to do once you’re there.
That way is to take heart, get up, and follow Him.