As I was listening to the gospel, last ash wednesday 5:30pm mass, the following verses struck me:
Jesus said to his disciples, “Take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them; otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly father.” When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, to win the praise of others. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing, so that your almsgiving may be secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you. (Matthew 6:1-6)
This was reinforced by Father Bernie in his homily and said that the ultimate sacrifice for lenten season is self-denial. Deny yourself with burst of pride, thoughts of revenge, and urge to say bad words to other people.
I had the ultimate test of self-denial today. One of my co-worker in the office put me to the tests. She said alot of bad things in email to my co-workers, my boss, and other people that it started a Word War I between us. I cannot take the libelous accusations, character assasination, and personal harrassment that she is doing to people and now to me. My dark side is telling me to fight back, return all her accusations with words like “bitchy”, “evil one”, and “sales witch”. Specially during occasions where she would ignore my attempts to reach out to her. I wanted to fight back and I was already planning a revenge plan for the next few months. Indeed, this was an ultimate test of self denial for me. I’ll pray that He would guide me to the right way to handle the situation and that He enligthen my colleague to have an open mind and heart so that we can have a chance to reconcile. I learned a big lesson today — deny yourself and do it in secret.