On my nightstand I keep a copy of Meditations and Devotions by Cardinal John Henry Newman. It’s a smallish 4″x6″ book published by Baronius Press in 2010. Every now and then I will reach for this book instead of one from the pile sitting on the floor next to the nightstand. Each time I do I find something to chew on before falling asleep and this last time was no different. What struck me is the last sentence, boldfaced below (by me). You see, I’m going through a particularly rough transitory time right now in a few matters in my life. I’m 48 years old and I still recognize with great frustration that I am no where near where I ought to be.
I thought this a wonderful paragraph for us all as we begin Lent for 2016.
O my God, I confess that before now I have utterly forgotten this, and that I am continually forgetting it! I have acted many a time as if I were my own master, and turned from Thee rebelliously. I have acted according to my own pleasure, not according to Thine. And so far have I hardened myself, as not to feel as I ought how evil this is. I do not understand how dreadful sin is—and I do not hate it, and fear it, as I ought. I have no horror of it, or loathing. I do not turn from it with indignation, as being an insult to Thee, but I trifle with it, and, even if I do not commit great sins, I have no great reluctance to do small ones. O my God, what a great and awful difference is there between what I am and what I ought to be!
Meditations and Devotions, Part III: Meditations on Christian Doctrine, Chapter IV: Sin, Section 1: Against Thee only have I Sinned, paragraph 3.
*It appears that Baronius is not currently publishing their edition, but I found a few paperback editions on Amazon as well as this online text.