Posted March 27, 2013:

by Catherine Doherty.

How often do we look at ourselves and feel that we are total failures? As we grow older, we look at our lives, and we don’t feel there is anything in them worth recording. We feel we have been utter failures. That is the moment when we should look at Jesus on the cross. There is no greater "failure" than that.

Let us face the word failure head-on, mind-on, heart-on, because it is a devastating word in our vocabulary. What is this strange word that everybody is so worried about? This word we equate with a loss of face, that says we don’t amount to much, according to the strange North American yardstick of production?

None of us are failures, dearly beloved, unless we make ourselves so. What we call failure in ordinary life is actually a stepping stone to success. You can’t become proficient in anything unless you fail in it again and again and again. You just can’t!

It takes a lot of clay to make a pot. It takes many a thread to make beautiful embroidery.

Yes, failure is painful, but without pain there is no living in love. So then, go through the arches of Christ’s pain and enter into the joy of his heart. In the process, there will be many times when you fail. You will fall flat on your face—even as he did on the way to the cross. Alleluia!

—From Grace in Every Season, (2001), pp. 93-94, March 27, available from MH Publications


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