Grace to you!
In today’s reflection, I share the need never to backslide and look back when God has already saved us.
When I was fourteen years, I had a profound experience of radical conversion unto Christ. It changed my life. It made me reject my old ways and respond to the call of grace. I’m ever grateful to the Lord for granting me the grace.
I also enjoyed access to excellent spiritual mentors and a spiritual director who helped me learn and mature quickly. One of the things they kept reminding me was to never miss any aspect of what I left behind.
In faith-deepening, you realize that sometimes, your memory would wander. It may take you to things you did in the past. It may want to pull you to those sentiments that do not necessarily praise the Lord. It may even lure you into things that are good on the face value but may have some proclivity to draw you to where you wouldn’t want to be. So, I learned fast to move on and never look back as the Lord inspires. I don’t always succeed in implementing this principle. But it sure is a safe net for spiritual maturity.
Notice in the story of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, the key message the angel gave to Lot, Abraham’s nephew, was not to look back. “Flee for your life; do not look back or stop anywhere in the valley; flee to the hills, lest you be consumed” (Gn 19:17).
Memories of the past can thrill. It can also bring up in us sentiments of regrets. Memories could take us back to where we don't want to be. Our memories are part of our experiences. They do not get wiped like a clean slate from our minds. Yet, to be faithful and successful disciples of the Lord, we need to place them in the trash bin where they belong.
We learn from an unpleasant, or unholy past, not to relive it. We learn by leaving it behind and avoiding what could get us soaked in its mess again.
It isn’t easy to leave the sinful past behind. Many of us are like Lot who hesitated while the angel was pulling him from what should be left behind. We need grace to let go of unwholesome past attachments.
God provides this grace. God provides it at the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The Lord provides this grace when we welcome him in Sacred Worship and constantly renew strength through the Word and the Sacraments.
We don’t leave the past and live in the state of spiritual vacuum. Remember the basic physics principle, “nature abhors vacuum.” We need to fill our heart with holy love and sentiments. Such we receive through regular communion with the Lord in prayer and in worship.
Here are a few recommendations. Maintain a relentless prayer life. Continue a regular practice of going to Mass. Maintain a regular practice of going to confession. Keep good friends and spiritual mentors. Find opportunities to be charitable and serve others. By so doing, you are closing the door so the past won’t lure you in again.
Praying for the grace of looking forward to “the upward call in Christ Jesus” (Phil 3:14). Amen.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Tuesday Week 13: Gn 19:15-39; Mt 8:23-27]
Author and Goal
Father Maurice Emelu PhD., provides a daily blog of reflections based on the Scriptural readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. The goal is to teach, inspire, encourage, and foster healing through the grace of God's word. They are written in a language that is appropriate for a general audience. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration, and developing your thoughts. They may also be useful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.