Monday, December 13, 2010

What Have I Done Lately?

Today, the Church celebrates the feast of St. Lucy, patron saint of — among others — the blind.

While looking at the calendar a few days ago and taking note of this feast day, I was prompted to recall an encounter I had ten years ago.

After graduating college, I got a job teaching Religion at Good Counsel High School, a girls’ school on the Northwest Side of Chicago run by the Felicians Sisters.

After one of the teacher in-services at the beginning of the school year, Sister Mary Justilla Podgorski, who ran the attendance office, invited me to visit the Felicians’ Chicago Province Motherhouse (where she lived) next door to the school, where she introduced me to many of the other sisters in her community.

One of the sisters I met that day — whose name, I regret, escapes me — had been blind for ten years. After Sister Justilla and I talked to her for a few minutes (and listened to her play a song on her electric piano), we moved on. Sister Justilla then whispered to me that this sister offers up all of her suffering related to her blindness for those addicted to pornography.

I remember thinking at that moment that I felt like The Great Slacker of the World.

I’ve just met a saintly woman who hasn’t been able to see for ten years, and all this time she’s been offering up to God all of the pain, frustration, and suffering her blindness has caused her on behalf of porn addicts. And what have I done lately?

Penance and mortification are key aspects to a healthy spiritual life. And so it’s important for us to consider from time to time, especially during this penitential season of Advent: What have I offered up lately for my family? My friends? My co-workers? The guy down the street who’s out of work? The woman on the Hooters billboard I saw on the way to work this morning?


What have I done lately?

[Cross-posted at Catholic Dads]

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