At the Heart of Mary Women’s Fellowship Conference this past August, I was sitting among women of all ages from various parishes, in the familiar surroundings of my home parish and overjoyed by the number of unfamiliar, friendly faces around me. Admittedly, as most of us do while listening to keynote speakers, my mind wandered in and out of my own thoughts through some of the talks, grocery lists, work happenings, what I still needed to do to get my kids prepared for the first day of school, etc.
Now, this isn’t to discredit the beauty each of the speakers brought to the women in attendance. For each of the speakers celebrated our cherished faith with immensely relevant and spiritual content and we were truly blessed to have them. However, my mind still intermittently took to itself until God decided to interrupt. Through the fodder of my own thoughts, I heard one of our speakers so clearly say, “When we sin, we are spending time serving the devil’s interests.” The thought came through my brain like a ray of light as if breaking through my own clouded judgement. When I heard these words, I immediately considered how many times I made excuses for my sins against God. I know wholeheartedly of our Lord’s grace and although it’s not the right way to look at it, it became easy for me to internally resolve my sin because “it’s not that bad” or “it’s only a teeny venial sin” or “this small sin won’t keep me from communion this week so I should be ok.” But upon hearing these words from our speaker, it occurred to me with thundering
clarity that I’m not just sinning AGAINST God (who is all-loving and forgiving), but by my sins, I am working WITH the devil.
I allowed myself to let that sink in a minute. How much time do I spend each day serving the devil’s interests? I didn’t like the answer. It seemed so simple, didn’t it? Yet, why did it take my very breath away? It never occurred to me that the opposite was true. If you oppose something it’s because you’re for something else. So, to oppose God and His teachings is to rally for the only one who conspires, lies, cheats, and steals against Him.
How broken must Jesus be with each action I take that keeps me from being closer to Him? Just as I wouldn’t root against my child’s soccer team because of the confusion and sadness it would bring him, why have I not viewed rooting against my Lord in the same regard?
As humans, sin is imminent, but I now resolve myself to be more aware of the very torment I bring to Him while I’m serving the devil’s interests. How refreshing it is to be able to approach my shortcomings in this new light. And how thankful I am to Him to have brought me to the conference and given me such a gift! His goodness is never outdone. He is always good!