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DON'T LOOK BACK AT 'SODOM' ONCE WHAT YOU'VE DONE HAS BEEN CONFESSED, CLEARED
When we convert -- when we actively go to Jesus -- we leave worldliness. We leave transgressions.
The spiritual blinders lift.
We see "backstage" in the dynamics of life and there is no going back -- or shouldn't be.
Too often, however, a part of us remains stuck in history. Are you hung up on the past? Do you spend time hovering over what you once did (before conversion) -- past mistakes? Do you have trouble forgiving yourself (even after correcting the impulse that led to the misstep)?
If so, you need to rectify this. It's a dark cycle. You need to clear your conscience.
Like Lot fleeing Sodom, there is often the temptation for us to stop and review from whence we have come (or see what is happening there), a temptation to dwell on what we have fled. We hover over past hurts, past bad judgment, even past "disasters." This is detrimental. Like Lot, there should there be no looking back.
"As dawn was breaking, the angels urged Lot on, saying, 'On your way! Take with you your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away in the punishment of Sodom,'" says the Bible [Genesis 19]. "When he hesitated, the men, by the Lord's mercy, seized his hand and the hands of his wife and his two daughters and led them to safety outside the city. As soon as they had been brought outside, he was told: 'Flee for your life! Don't look back or stop anywhere on the Plain.'"
To dwell on the past is to drive with mirrors. It's to see things in reverse. When we look in a mirror things look like they are but are not quite as they seem. Past upsets? Hateful things? Are you still on the plain? Attach yourself to His Story, not history.
Otherwise, you become stuck. You become trapped in your past. You risk becoming a "pillar of salt." Or perhaps "ice" is the better way of saying it, since you can become "frozen" in time!
Now, it's often said that to forget history is to condemn oneself to repeat it. And there is certainly truth to that. We shouldn't forget lessons learned by past mistakes.
But once we've done that, once we have brought each one to the Lord, we can forget the mistakes themselves. We need not obsess on them. The devil is the one who wants us to do this, and as the saying goes, when the devil reminds you of your past, remind him of his future.
Once the motive -- the sin -- has been removed (through Confession and expiation), it should be erased. Leave behind past transgressions and relationships (especially when the tie was sin). Take anything that still hangs you up to the Eucharist and break each bond when the Host is raised. Neither be curious about the world and worldliness you left.
You are not who you were but who you are. When we look at the negative side of our personal histories, what happens? Think about it. We are tempted to relive past lusts, past waywardness, past sins. The devil buries us in guilt. We hover over what we should not have done -- endlessly. We don't forgive ourselves (even if God has). We hash over hurts and aggravations and insults that weigh and weigh on the spirit. Things that should be forgotten but have not been forgotten become little hooks that can still cling to us -- bricks in a sack on our backs. We may even luxuriate in evil.
After you have prayed to heal whomever you may have hurt (going through your own life in prayer), once you are reconciled, once you have purged, allow God to brighten your horizon. If you have corrected a fault, forget it and move on. Pray to have any hurt you caused remedied and then begin healing your own spirit.
Have the angels lead you (as they lead Lot).
Jesus told us to take our ploughs and not look behind us and that's what the aim of conversion -- total conversion, which lasts a lifetime -- must be: looking forward only to the future and Him (especially eternity)! He doesn't want your life to be a broken record.
This is the quick and only sure entry into Heaven: a focus on the radiance of Jesus (not the dark of the past).
Get over it -- not under it. Don't let your past trap you. Live forward, not in reverse. Would you drive down an interstate backwards? Set your eyes on the highway to Heaven.
For when you are free of past guilt you are free to rise to Him.
[resources: The God of Miracles, Father DeGrandis books, and Freed and Healed]
[see also: Minnesota Michael Brown retreat]
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