If you choose, you can keep the commandments, and to act faithfully is a matter of your own choice. He has placed before you fire and water; stretch out your hand for whichever you choose. (Ecclus. 15:15)
It was a special treat to say Morning Prayer today with my mom, and we will definitely do it again the next time I visit. We had not thought to do it on previous visits, but she made a conscious decision to ask me this time.
This morning’s wisdom from Ecclesiasticus (Sirach) is all about discipline, about making conscious decisions to act faithfully.
When we fail to choose consciously, when we act instead on impulse or autopilot, we may not live up to the faithfulness we desire. When we act on impulse, we may not consider the impact our actions will have on others.
When we sin (the word we use for falling short), we must make the decision to turn around and try again. Turning around, becoming more conscious of our actions, is not always easy, and it often helps to have someone you love or a friend you trust to help you see more clearly what you know you want to do.
Then I acknowledged my sin to you,
and did not conceal my guilt.
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.”
Then you forgave me the guilt of my sin. (Psalm 32:5-6)
“To act faithfully is a matter of your own choice,” says Sirach, and it’s a choice we must make each day.