Unbreakable

A reflection on being unbreakable

Not too long ago, I attended a Zoom webinar put on by the San Diego Roman Catholic Diocese where a New Orleans priest gave a talk on the theme “Unbreakable”. His name is Fr. Tony Picard. I’ve heard him speak before and loved every minute of it, so I was very excited about this webinar featuring him. For free, even! Events like these usually cost money so I feel very blessed to have been able to attend. I gained a lot of insight and had lots
of laughs.

Fr. Tony’s talk focused on how we go through so many hardships in life, but we’re still here. He emphasized this phrase: “Because I know there is a God, I’ll be alright.” He talked about the devastating Hurricane Katrina and how it impacted his life and ministry. He talked about COVID-19 and how people like himself and others had to adapt to using more technology to connect with people. Despite everything he’s gone through in life, he’s still here.

Fr. Tony said that the struggles we go through in life will bend us, but never break us. If we trust in God, we are unbreakable. Because we know there is a God, we’ll be alright. As this is also the month of St. Joseph–he called him Blessed St. Joseph–Fr. Tony talked about how Joseph was a just man, and right with God. Every time he received God’s message through a dream, he followed through with it. He played a huge part in keeping the family safe.

Photo by Anne McCarthy on Pexels.com

I began with this because I often feel so broken. I sin, I confess, I do well in not sinning, and fail again. I feel like I’ve fallen so many times that I must have fractured something. Something has to be broken. But after tuning in to Fr. Tony’s talk, I realized that I’m not broken. I’ve just been bent. Because I know there is a God, I’ll be alright. I can’t break if God is on my side. It sounds cheesy, but it’s true. And I haven’t truly given it thought
until now.

I think it’s safe to say that we all fall into sin. The problem, I think, is that we forget God’s mercy. We forget He loves us and is on our side. I struggle with a recurring sin, and for as long as I can remember, that particular sin kept me away from confession, and hatred and disgust for myself grew. I didn’t want to seem as though I wasn’t growing as a person of holiness and confess the same sin all the time. My reluctance to confess didn’t help any.

Married and pregnant, I want to show my child that no matter how many times we fall, God will be there. No matter how many times we bend, we’ll never break. If we keep the Lord in our sight, we’ll be alright. I don’t want my child to believe they’re disgusting or hate themselves the way I did for many years. It’s my hope that I can prevent that from happening as much as possible. They’ll struggle, but if I can help them find inner peace sooner, I’ll be happy.

Judgement

I recently was gifted a Costco membership from my in laws. More accurately, my mother in law gave me my grandmother in law’s membership card; she passed away several years ago. I wish I got to meet her. The family talks very highly of her.

So, with this membership card, I’m able to get cheap gas and get bulk items. All good ways to save with a child on the way. I also have an EBT card that is shared between me, my husband, and my dad. For a long while I didn’t use my EBT at Costco.

My reasoning? I would get hardcore judged. But I finally used it the other day and no one batted an eye.

I was suddenly reminded about the verse in the Bible saying judge not, lest you be judged. Here’s the full thing for context:

Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, “Let me take the speck out of your eye,” when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

Matt. 7:1-5

I was doing some more research on these verses in Matthew because I was having a hard time figuring out what Jesus meant here. At first, He seemed to be saying not to judge anyone at all.

But I read it again and realized we are indeed called to judge, but to do so rightly. Doing so without being a hypocrite. Rectify your sins first before trying to rectify others’ sins. The way you judge others is the way God will also judge you.

To put it in real world terms and relating back to my recent trip to Costco, I was afraid I was going to be judged by employees and other customers for using government aid money. It would be hypocritical to judge me as such because many people receive government assistance in one form or another. The stimulus checks, for example. Disability aid. MediCal, Medicare, Medicaid. Veteran’s aid. WiC. And so, my fear dissipated.

That’s not to say that people may not be silently judging me. But going back to the Bible and knowing that Jesus commands us to judge rightly, if I were judged during my shopping trip, I know it was a hypocrital judgement. And so, I shouldn’t worry. Hope this all makes sense.

I want to instill in my child a sense of right and wrong–as most parents want. I want to teach them that there is sin in the world and we are to recognize and judge it rightly, and to avoid it as much as humanly possible. Of course, being human, it is inevitable that we will sin, but God’s mercy is never ending and I want my child to understand this too. No matter how many times we fall, God is always there to pick us up.