«The spirit of a man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all the inner depths of his heart» (Proverbs 20:27).
Have you ever gone into a cave? It’s a whole adventure, although it can also be dangerous if you don’t take the necessary precautionary measures. I remember several years ago I entered a cave in Southeast Mexico. The place had two big features: darkness and mosquitoes. Nevertheless, with the help of a good flashlight it turned out to be a very attractive sight. After a little more than an hour I decided to go out, and when the sun started to shine on my body, I realized I was full of dust! Inside the cave you get dirty, but you don’t realize it because it’s dark. You can only see it when sunlight makes it evident.
Our world is like a cave where dirt abounds. The problem is we’re not aware of our own filth, and frequently say, «I don’t do anyone any harm; I’m a good person.» We’re like the Pharisee who went as far as to justify himself before God and exhibit an alleged holiness. And the thing is that hypocrites don’t really perceive their mistakes because they’re very far from God. Instead of comparing themselves with the heavenly Father, they compare themselves with others, whom they consider spiritually inferior to them. However, only those who are near the Sun of Righteousness, whose rays reveal weaknesses and deep wrongs in the human heart, can approach the Lord without ambition for greatness and righteousness, but rather uttering one of the great prayers of a genuine believer: «God, be merciful to me, a sinner!»
People who are aware of their true spiritual condition have divine approval. God doesn’t expect their children to be infallible, but instead to recognize their situation and sincerely beg for divine grace. That’s why Jesus told the religious leaders in Israel, «Assuredly, I say to you that tax collectors and harlots enter the kingdom of God before you» (Matthew 21:31).
If you believe your life is far from the ideal God has for you, if you consider that your spiritual life leaves much to be desired and you don’t have the courage to go before God, congratulations! You’re not far from the kingdom of heaven! Confess your sins and acknowledge your shortcomings. Plead for his grace and place your life in God’s hands. If you do so, I assure you that Jesus will extend His robe of righteousness over you today. Few words are sweeter to divine ears than those that say, «God, be merciful to me, a sinner!»