Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Neutrinos

The Scriptures are filled with a history of humanity's sinfulness. Even though we prefer not discuss this notion - sin - we can't escape it. It's all around us. As difficult as it is to discuss the sin we see all around it is even more difficult for me to acknowledge that this reality is not only all around, it is within me as well.

Scientists tell us that there are tiny particles in nature smaller even than the atoms that make up the matter we can perceive. These particles are called neutrinos. They are so small that they are passing though everything than we can perceive - even the most solid matter. They are even passing through me! Wow! How hard is that to wrap my mind around??

Hmmm. That makes me think about spiritual realities. They pass through me, too. Grace and Sin both, like neutrinos are moving through me at all times. The question I have for the scientists is, "If neutrinos are passing through me, are they having an impact on me? Are they changing me in any way? I have not been able to get an answer to that one yet. But then, I don't know many nuclear physicists who could explain that kind of thing to me in language I would understand.

This I do know, however. Grace and sin are all around me - and pass through me - and they do have an impact on me. They can change me. My job is to become aware of each - and to respond to each appropriately.

As long as I think that the sinfulness I see in the world has no impact on me, I am deeply deceived. Only when I recognize the impact that sin has in my life am I able to get control of it. Only when I take responsibility for sin in my life can I respond and repent. Only then can I recognize the impact of that grace which is equally present to me and has a positive influence on me.

What I need to do is to recall Step 4 of the 12 Steps of AA: Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. The point here is not to rehearse every sinful moment of my life, which is impossible anyway. Instead, invite God to lead me through my life history and reveal those moments in which I failed to love God, others, or myself. Only in this way can I get a handle on my own sinfulness. Only in this way can I stop generating those little neutrinos of sin that in turn have an impact on others. Only then can I begin to turn my life over to the God of love and allow those neutrinos of grace to have their greatest impact. the grace I seek today is to discover a deepening awareness and sorrow for my sins and a heartfelt experience of God’s merciful love for me.

-- spend some time reflecting on your own sinfulness

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