Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Calibration in Progress

A few weeks ago, my wife decided to splurge a bit and buy me a Wii. I know, I know, it's a brand-new, top of the line product...wait...what? It's 5 years old? Nintendo is already coming out with a new gaming system? Man, i am SO behind the times. I'm gonna go curl up in the corner and sulk about being old now.

Okay, I'm over it. We don't have a huge budget, but I've been locked in with the kids all summer and I could use a little exercise, so we figured this might help. It counted as a Father's Day present, too.

What intrigues me, though, is that every so often in gameplay, I have to calibrate the Wii remote. Why? I guess because it's getting shaken around with all the activity it's experiencing and its sensors are getting messed up. It gets out of sync. This seems especially true if you are boxing or fencing. It needs to re-orient itself.

Then an interesting thought hit me. I need to, and ought to, calibrate myself throughout the day. I get incolved in the world. I have an active life, even during the summer. I work, get frustrated with my family, deal with bad news. I get sorta messed up. There are things out there that put me out of sync with God. I, likewise, need to re-orient myself, literally - I need to look East, ad orientem, toward God and toward the Mount of Calvary in the holy city of Jerusalem. I need to be calibrated.

In the passage on the Last Supper in the Gospel of John (13:5-10), we find the Washing of the Feet of the Apostles.

Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and dry them with the towel around his waist. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, "Master, are you going to wash my feet?"
Jesus answered and said to him, "What I am doing, you do not understand now, but you will understand later."
Peter said to him, "You will never wash my feet." Jesus answered him, "Unless I wash you, you will have no inheritance with me."
Simon Peter said to him, "Master, then not only my feet, but my hands and head as well."
Jesus said to him, "Whoever has bathed has no need except to have his feet washed, for he is clean all over; so you are clean, but not all."

Peter has himself all out of sync with Jesus. He needs calibration. We can tell because He argues with someone he already confessed to be God. Anyone who knowingly argues with God is just a little bit in need of some calibration. Once he realizes this, he jumps to bossing God around. Our Lord replies, in characteristic patience, that only Peter's feet need to be washed. This verse used to confuse me, but St. Augustine explains it well:

"Clean all except the feet. The whole of a man is washed in baptism, not excepting his feet; but living in the world afterwards, we tread upon the earth. Those human affections then, without which we cannot live in this world, are, as it were, our feet, which connect us with human things, so that if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves (1 Jn 1:8). But if we confess our sins, He who washed the disciples' feet, forgives us our sins even down to our feet, wherewith we hold our converse with earth." -Catena Aurea

We Christians go about lives in the world, and it is next to impossible (albeit nothing is impossible for God) to go through even the Christian life without stumbling in the mud of sin a little and getting dirt and dust on our feet, through which we traverse the world living and preaching the Gospel. There can be no excuse for neglecting the calibration we seek in prayer. St. John's Gospel shows that he who is more about the Lord's work is likely the more to need his feet cleansed, to meet the Lord in prayer throughout the day and ask for his sins to be forgiven, not because he who is closer to God sins more, but because He begins all the more to notice his sins.

Now we as Fiat Men should, I hope, desire to get into the practice of turning to God often throughout the day, lifting up our hearts to worship and adore Him, and to ask for His mercy and love on ourselves, or families, and our neighbors.

I, for one, really need to work on this.



1 comment:

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