Reflection for September 13, 2013

The message today comes from The Lord in the Gospel of Luke:

“Jesus told his disciples a parable.  Can a blind person guide a blind person?  Will not both fall into a pit?  No disciple is superior to the teacher; but when fully trained, every disciple will be like his teacher.  Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own?  How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me remove that splinter in your eye,’ when you do not even notice the wooden beam in your own eye?  You hypocrite!  Remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter in your brother’s eye.”   Luke 6:39-42

Jesus’ words here are dramatically comical with the image of a wooden beam in my eye.  But, as in other of His teachings, He uses exaggeration in order to get His message across to us.  In brief, what The Lord is telling me is “Look at yourself first” before attempting to straighten out anyone else.  And this is a good message to dwell on today in recovery.

I cannot help but remember the echoing words of our co-founder, Bill Wilson, who has an apt take on this:  “Too much of my life has been spent in dwelling upon the faults of others.  This is a most subtle and perverse form of self-satisfaction, which permits us to remain comfortably unaware of our own defects.  Too often we are heard to say, ‘If it weren’t for him or her, how happy I’d be!’”

Our very first problem is to accept our present circumstances as they are, ourselves as we are, and the people about us as they are.  This is to adopt a realistic humility without which no genuine advance can even begin.  Again and again, we shall need to return to that unflattering point of departure.  This is an exercise in acceptance that we can profitably practice every day of our lives.


These thoughts offered by Brother Richard Hittle, S.J., a grateful 1980 graduate of Guest House and an employee since 2004.