Today, we celebrate the memorial of Saint Aloysius Gonzaga. He once said, “I am a crooked piece of iron and have come into religion to be made straight by the hammer of mortification and penance.” Too often, we see ourselves only as the twisted piece of iron formed by our past sins. No matter what our past is, no sin is greater than God’s love. I can relate much to St. Aloysius’ saying, as well as in today’s Gospel, especially in my experiences of seminary formation.
In the seminary, I struggle in many aspects of the formation, especially academics. But I am grateful that the Lord uses people who are generous enough to help me as I persevere in the formation. He made me realize not to judge my capacity but to be humble and honest. It was a humbling gift to recognize that despite my unworthiness, God enables me to continue with my seminary formation. I have learned to know myself in the light of God’s love and compassion.
Day after day, I realize that life can be happier when I am aware of my own limitations. It is a grace to recognize myself as a sinner and realize that God loves me unconditionally. My response, therefore, is to let His life animate me, and rather than being judgmental, to be more compassionate towards others. When I know my own limitations, I also learn to understand that others have limitations too. And sometimes it is through our limitations that God makes His presence known and felt.
By: Sem. Glicerio T. Tano
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Stop judging, that you may not be judged.
For as you judge, so will you be judged,
and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you.
Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye,
but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye?
How can you say to your brother,
‘Let me remove that splinter from your eye,’
while the wooden beam is in your eye?
You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first;
then you will see clearly
to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye.”