Yesterday, I was blessed to be able to hear the entire speech of Pope Francis while it was happening. Let me tell you, I have listened to people speak before, give speeches, but in my 35 years, this one was one of the best. I don’t know if it is because I am biased being a proud Catholic, or if in fact I just actually paid more attention to the historical nature of what was going on, but I was mesmerized by the whole thing. I was struck by one simple sentence, and I know I am going to get the quote slightly off, but he said, “It is difficult to judge the past on the criteria of the present.” He was referencing the Native Americans and other persecuted people that have been in our country, but I took the meaning to a new place.Let’s start off with this. First and foremost, I am a sinner. I always have been, and until the day I die, I will stand in a long line of sinners like me. I have broken at least eleven commandments (I’m joking of course, but it feels that way sometimes). So, needless to say, I am in constant need of love, grace and mercy. I say I am sorry to God on a constant basis. Everything about my past is riddles with sin, long hard paths, and experiences (both good and bad), that have shaped who I am today. Along with that, I am my own worst judge. Everything, good, bad, indifferent is apart of me, and will always be. It will never change, no matter how hard I try. Any lies I have ever told, and all the people that I have ever harmed in anyway, that will remain. I am no different from anyone else in this world.
I am my own worst judge, and I think we all are. I constantly judge myself, and I am my own worst critic. I can not give myself a break to save my self. I am working on that part, and that starts with this point… We are not the ones who should judge anyone, including ourselves. We tend to think about others when we think about the words, thou shall not judge. We forget to include ourselves in that. So, I am walking around, not really judging others, but I forget not to judge myself… that sounds very counter productive, does it not? The real question is why?
We are judging our past sins on our present criteria. Instead of asking for forgiveness, and letting ourselves be forgiven, we are carrying all of that around. I am Catholic, I go to confession, I hear the absolution prayer, but have I been allowing myself to be forgiven? I mean, in essence, have I forgiven myself? Have I really let go of my yesterday’s transgressions, or am I simply carrying around the baggage and letting it slow me down from my purpose or finding myself in life? I am proposing it is the latter. I use my new daily advances as the benchmark for my past, when in essence, I am not the same person I was, even just yesterday. My viewpoint is slanted. My former self is not who I am today, it is just a mere part of it.
So, I pray that I can stop judging myself for my past sins and transgressions, let go of the baggage and move forward. I also pray that everyone else can find the strength to stop judging their past as well. God Bless Everyone who reads this, and please pray for me.