“He who loves me will keep my commands.”
It was painfully difficult at Mass this morning to hear these words of Jesus and then to look inwardly at myself and see what commands I’m keeping, or rather, who’s commands I’m keeping. I’m not quite sure if the commands I am keeping belong to Jesus, actually, I’m positive that the commands I’m keeping are not of Christ. When I look at my life it is hard not to see that when I say “I love you Jesus” I don’t actually mean it. Why? Because when I look at my actions, they are not the actions that Christ commanded me: the Ten Commandments, the Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes, the Greatest Commandment, and the second, which is like it. In only trivial and minuscule ways does my life even remotely reflect these things that Christ requires of me. At best my life is lukewarm and apathetic towards the commands. At worst my life exemplifies the exact opposite of these commands.
If I’m totally honest, lately I’ve been following lies of the Devil whilst pretending and fooling myself into thinking that my life is one of obedience and discipleship, and that any slip-ups are minor offenses that don’t really matter to God. I’m basically a good person, so all the rest is just, I don’t know, inconsequential aspects of being human that God won’t hold me accountable for. There is a word in Norwegian for this type of belief: et livsløgn: a life’s lie. It is a delusion not rooted in reality that accompanies us throughout life, and if we aren’t self aware, can swallow us up to varying degrees of severity. For some it might be some kind of grand illusion that we are the most amazing singer ever and that our haters just wouldn’t know good music of Johann Straus himself waltzed through the door. And for others like me, it is a complete lack of self-honesty about the virtues in our lives.
However, this revelation shouldn’t cause me distress. Christ lives to redeem creation, including myself. To acknowledge where I fall short and to ask him for the grace to help me overcome sin and live his commands in complete love and devotion to him as to opposed to self-love and self-devotion/self-worship.