Be Vigilant at all Times

I opened the Divine Office today, more specifically the Office of Readings in the Liturgy of the Hours, for additional insight on the readings for today.  St. Augustine wrote, “We love him, yet we fear his coming. Are we really certain that we love him? Or do we love our sins more?” Wait, what?! The idea really caught me off guard.

I had to read that a few more times. “We love him, yet we fear his coming. Are we really certain that we love him? Or do we love our sins more?”

St. Augustine certainly speaks quite directly.  His words emphasise the Gospel Acclamation today from Luke 21:36, “Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to stand before the Son of Man.”

NO! I don’t love my sins more. However there have been a whole lot of times in my life when I haven’t gone to confession with a sin I have committed or an action I omitted or failed to do. Either from embarrassment, shame, pride or being naive about a situation, it has kept me from being prepared for the coming of our Lord and Savior.

For example, I was speaking with a friend over the weekend and said something which was really me making a judgement about another. I said I needed to take that situation to confession.  My friend, however, heard it as a fact and felt it was a justified statement. In my heart, I knew I  was passing judgement on another, especially as I am aware that the person is having some short term memory issues.

I really believe that each of us does the best he/she can in any given situation. I have to be careful not to be self righteous. I have to be vigilant about not casting the first stone, as I too have made mistakes or misspoken, or been completely unaware of a greater situation than my narrow perspective. This is quite a slippery slope that quickly leads to sin.

Heavenly Father, Help me to be vigilant in my thoughts, and in my words. Please help me be aware of what I have failed to do and what I have done that separates me from you and your will to be done here on earth. Forgive me my sins as I forgive those who trespass against me. Help me to be aware of the temptations ahead of me today and every day so that I am on guard for when you do come again in glory at the end of time. Amen.

Contact the author

Beth Price is part of the customer care team at Diocesan. She is a Secular Franciscan (OFS) and a practicing spiritual director. Beth shares smiles, prayers, laughter, a listening ear and her heart with all of creation. Reach her here

Feature Image Credit: Lolame,