Not As Man Sees

Not As Man Sees 

I don’t know Fr. Stu personally, but I’ve heard a fair number of his homilies. I think it is safe to assume that if he and I were to get into a discussion on any number of things, from church history to liturgical music to stand-up comedy, each of us would cringe at the opinions of the other.

But Fr. Stu happens to offer just about the only confession time within 20 miles of me that consistently works with my schedule. That means that, quite by accident, Fr. Stu is my regular confessor. For years now, he’s sat patiently on the other side of the grille, listening to me pour out the details of my transgressions, from the pathetic to the embarrassing, and he absolves me of my sins.

In the Gospel, Christ links vision with humility and pride with blindness. We see again and again in Scripture how God delights in surprising us, in revealing himself through people, places, and experiences we not only didn’t expect but perhaps had totally written off.

We are right to be proud of the truth, but we are wrong if the truth causes us to be proud of ourselves. The truth no more belongs to the one who believes it than sight belongs to the blind man in the Gospel. A gift does not reflect on the recipient. It reflects on the giver.

After a great deal of thought, I’ve decided to be grateful that God contrived to give me a confessor whom I strongly disagree with on so many things. It’s a powerful reminder of how much I must receive from other people, even those I may think are wrong. In that confessional, Fr. Stu is only a priest, and I am only a sinner.

“Not as man sees does God see.” — 1 Samuel 16:7