40 Days, 40 Prayers

Day 9, or As Myself

 

As one goes about one’s day, one tends to run into some unpleasant people somewhere along the way. A customer is rude, a coworker is cranky, a spouse snaps at you.

You don’t even need to leave your house to experience negativity. Just go on social media, and every nasty, hurtful, hateful thing you could think of—or never could think of—is there on display. It almost seems unreal.

It’s so hard to understand why people choose to be this way. Miserable and angry, feeling they must make everyone around them miserable and angry too. Didn’t they ever hear what Jesus said?

“’You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”

Why is it so hard to love your neighbor? Could it be because we don’t even know how to love ourselves?

If we are not loved by others, it is harder to love ourselves. So if we do not love ourselves, then of course it is harder to love others. If we do not forgive ourselves, it’s harder to forgive others. If we are cruel to ourselves, it’s easier to be cruel to others.

We must repent of our sins, resolve to sin no more, and hold ourselves accountable.

But hurling abuse at ourselves over what we’ve done in the past does nothing to further us from where we are today. Dragging yourself back down into guilt and despair is not your job, but the devil’s. God’s not holding onto your sin, so why are you? Go to confession. Let go of your burden.

Don’t pretend your past never happened, but don’t let it trip you up today. Recall the sins and mistakes of your past, be grateful for His mercy, and walk on.

 

“Have patience with all things, but, first of all, with yourself.” –St. Francis de Sales

 

My prayer for today:

 

Lord, I often hold myself back by refusing to let go of the burdens You’ve already taken away. Grant me patience and love for myself, so that I can have patience and love for others.

Amen.

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