Micah 7:18-20

In The Seven Storey Mountain, Thomas Merton describes himself as “an extremely unpleasant sort of person—vain, self-centered, dissolute, weak, irresolute, undisciplined, sensual, obscene, and proud. I was a mess. Even the sight of my own face in the mirror was enough to disgust me.”

Have you ever felt this way? Perhaps some failure or shortcoming weighs on you even now, robbing you of some joy and love. Merton’s words describe his spiritual journey before he found life in God’s love and forgiveness. He became a Trappist monk and a popular author and later wrote in No Man Is an Island, “I cannot discover God in myself and myself in Him unless I have the courage to face myself exactly as I am, with all my limitations, and to accept others as they are, with all their limitations.”

When you fall short of God’s hopes for you, what response do
you expect from God? Judgment? Punishment? Micah says that we
can expect God to pardon iniquities and pass over transgressions.
God does not retain anger but delights in showing clemency and
compassion; God will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.

Picture God on the banks of a deep, wide river. God picks up a flat, smooth stone. With one foot in the water and one on the bank, God leans sideways and, with a strong sidearm throw, sends the rock skipping across the surface of the rushing waters. After some twenty skips into the middle of the stream, the stone disappears. Imagine God casting all our sins into the depths of the sea that way. When we fail God and others, we don’t have to be immobilized by it. We can find a life of forgiveness and mercy.


What mistakes do you still carry? How will you make peace with the past?


God, I have fallen short of your will for my life. Forgive me. Thank you for your unconditional love and mercy. Help me to accept your forgiveness and to live fully and joyfully. Amen.

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