“This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him while we are walking in darkness, we lie and do not do what is true; but if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 Jn 1: 5-9)

Here St. John is talking about “walking in light,” in God’s light, which John connects with seeing the truth about ourselves and “confessing our sins.” This clears the path to fellowship with God and with one another. Darkness, on the other hand, is equated here with self-deception and “saying we have no sin.”

It is liberating and cleansing to see things and people, including myself, as they are, rather than how I wish them to be. It is burdensome and crippling, on the other hand, to create a land of make-believe in one’s head. This may lead one constantly to be dissatisfied with the real situations and opportunities of the here and now; to neglect today’s responsibilities while imagining the dream-job just around the corner; to avoid real relationships and prefer “flirtationships”; to put off the small things I can do today, because of the heroic, great things I will do tomorrow.

Today I humbly ask God for His light to guide me in quiet self-examination. Let me prefer His loving vision of me and other people to the cruel expectations I tend to create, when I walk on my own, in darkness. It is He, not me, “Who is faithful and just,” as St. John says, because He forgives our sins and cleanses us from burdensome self-deception.

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