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Date: December 29, 2013 Speaker: Father Joe

Perfection. I don’t know of a single person who will claim to be perfect.

“Oh, I know I’m not perfect!” and, “Nobody’s perfect” are the two mantra like lies we repeat throughout our lives. They are not lies because they are untrue; they are lies because we do not believe them.

What often prevents us from volunteering our time is the belief or fear that we can’t; that we don’t have the abil- ity. Our expectation of perfection prevents us from even trying, because we “can’t do it”, thus denying someone a gift or need.

What often causes our need to gossip is the desire to surround ourselves with the protective barrier of someone else’s lack of perfection, as if to say, “Look how much better we are.” When someone else isn’t perfect, tongues go a-waggin’. Not our best moments as a Christian.

This expectation of perfection also is the cause of much of our lack of trust or confidence in government or church leaders. When someone says they are sorry, we just don’t believe them, despite our claiming to be good Catholics. Maybe that’s why we don’t believe in the power of Confession: if we can’t forgive others, how can we know what forgiveness feels like? If there is no love, there can be no forgiveness, of ourselves or of others.

Many of the hurdles we have in the spiritual life, and most of our interpersonal challenges by far, come from for- getting these two most important tenets

neither we nor our neighbor are perfect “love your neighbor as yourself”

If we gave each other and ourselves the freedom to grow, to slide back a step or two, to rebound and flower, don’t you think we all would smile a whole lot more?

“The Christian life is not about living the perfect life. It’s about our attempts to keep trying to love, and nothing more.”

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