Photo: Felix Carroll
The 'Holy Scrub Down'
EDITOR'S NOTE: What's it like to devote your life to God? In this story, Br. Giuseppe Mignano, a Marian seminarian, shares an excerpt from his journal, a slice of life from someone walking "the narrow path."
By Br. Giuseppe Mignano, Mic
"I have a wooden beam in my eye."
Today, I was blessed with spiritual direction. It has been about a month since I've been to my spiritual director, and lately I've been feeling the spiritual tug to go see him. After meeting with him, I made my confession. As a penance, he told me to pray to God for guidance and then open the Bible and read. Wherever it says "you or thou," I was to add my name, Giuseppe.
After I got back to the house, I prayed the Rosary and evening prayer with the community, then Br. Kenny and I went to Christ the King Chapel at Franciscan University for an hour of adoration. It was absolutely amazing. A big turn out of students came to pray and worship.
We then went to Holy Rosary Catholic Church for another hour of adoration. When I got into the chapel at Holy Rosary, I found myself complaining to God about things that have been weighing on me. I've reviewed conversations that I've had with loved ones and how I have been selfish. I have been lacking in prudence, and the Lord showed me that tonight. After I stopped complaining, I remembered what my spiritual director told me. I prayed, then opened the Bible, put my name next to "you," and this is what I read:
Luke 6:37, 39, and 42: "Stop judging and, Giuseppe, you will not be judged. Stop condemning and, Giuseppe, you will not be condemned. Forgive and, Giuseppe, you will be forgiven. Can a blind person guide a blind person? Will not both fall into a pit? How can you, Giuseppe, say to your brother, 'Let me remove that splinter in your eye,' when you, Giuseppe, do not even notice the wooden beam in your own eye? Giuseppe, you hypocrite! Remove the wooden beam from your eye first, and then you will see clearly to remove the splinter in your brother's eye."
I wanted to cry. I felt like I just received a holy smack down! I knew exactly what He was talking about. I am a sinner, but I have to strive for holiness. I have to detach from all pointless conversations that lead to sin through gossip or disappointment in others. I have to give everybody the benefit of the doubt. I feel like I am in the Lord's hands, and He's scrubbing my soul with an iron bristle. It's difficult, but I need it. Please keep me in your prayers.