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From Faithfulness to Forgetfulness

On this Friday of the Fourth Week of Lent, I continue my journey through Scott Hahn’s book, Lenten Reflections from A Father Who Keeps His Promises.

One of my earliest childhood memories was learning the song, “Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho” from my Mom:

Joshua fit the battle of Jericho
Jericho, Jericho
Joshua fit the battle of Jericho
And the walls come tumblin’ down.

Play "Joshua Fit The Battle of Jericho":

I remember singing this song with Mom and then reading about the battle.  What an unusual strategy to attack a walled city—circle it for six days with priests blowing horns and then, on the seventh day, and on the seventh time around, everyone shout!

Who would have thought this would work?!

And it wouldn’t have worked—but for God, present in their midst.  I think that was the point.  Obey God, no matter how silly it may seem, and He will deliver you.  Great things will come to pass.

The Battle of Jericho was one of many in a series of miracles God uses to prove His faithfulness and might.  You would think such incredible occurrences would stick in the memory of all Israelites, encouraging their constant obedience and devotion to God.  Unfortunately, it didn’t.  They would repeat a vicious cycle:  sin to slavery to supplication to salvation to surplus.  What were they thinking!?

But while it’s easy to tsk-tsk the Israelites and their failures, I know I have my own vicious cycle: sin to guilt to confession to forgiveness to sin.

It starts with my predisposition toward sin, be it pride, lust or any other vice.  I fall and then, realizing my fall, feel guilty.  After confessing my sins and receiving absolution (with the firm resolution “to sin no more and to avoid the near occasion of sin“, I am drawn closer to God and surrender to His will.  But, eventually, I try to re-take control of my life.  Or I re-place myself at the center of my life.  That’s when my vices push me back into sin.

The process for breaking the negative cycle begins with the blessed Sacrament of Reconciliation. And I need to remember that, no matter how often I fall:

There will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance. Luke 15:7.

Day 31-2Obedience is the key.  As Mary told the stewards at the wedding at Cana, “do whatever he tells you.”  This Lent has been a wonderful opportunity to re-center my life on Him who saves.

Day 31-1


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