The “Scraps falling from the Master’s table” title of this series which will parallel “Flores for the Immaculate Conception” is in reference to the dogs under their master’s table who eat the falling scraps (see Matthew 15 and Mark 7). I like to think of myself as a donkey, but I’m just a dog most of the time. Anyway…
Besides the sanctuary lamp, I might light a candle stub from the parish next to the tabernacle when spending some time before Jesus. It makes me think of the preface of Saint John’s Gospel, the bit about the second Person of the Trinity shining in the darkness and the darkness not being able to grasp and claw after the light until that light becomes incarnate, thus revealing to us a love that is stronger than death, Jesus purposely taking on our punishment for sin in death so as to have the right in His own justice to have mercy on us.
And the blinding light in the tabernacle shines in my darkness, and, in His grace, I thank Him for His forgiveness and bringing me into this light which I can hardly perceive amidst the continued darkness of the effects of original sin all around me and within. But, there He is, with a good grip on my soul and immediately present. Lots of healing goes on in this way, lots of healing, with me saying Amen once again to the reception of the forgiveness He has provided to me so very many times in the Sacrament of Confession. Because of this healing, spiritual and also psychological and emotional, a healing of the whole person – however weak we all remain in this world because of the effects of original sin – I am aghast, as I always have been, utterly aghast, when presented with statements from people who glibly say that they have forgiven themselves. I HAVE NOTHING BY WHICH TO FORGIVE MYSELF! The thought of it has always seemed instantly absurd. I’ve said that to those who come up with what seems to me to be an individualistic affront to mercy, and they give me hemming and hawing explanations, twisting and writhing in this way and that, and then two seconds later I forget their reasoning because it all seems so abstract from the Incarnate Son of the Living God, the Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception, who laid down His life for me that I just cannot bear to have such a washout of all that is good and holy in my all too small already skull. I’m just little me!
But, having said that, I ask you this: is there a plausible explanation for the just forgive yourself thing? Isn’t this just some sort of surely Jesuit pop psychology of the mid-1970s? Who came up with this and why? Any ideas? I love Jesus and what He did for me, for us. Am I narrow-minded? Not open to new ways? Not hip?