Almost aways the gsopel challenges us to our attention outside ourselves, toward God and toward our brothers and sisters. The one time when we are as Christian supposed to turn from others to ourselves is when we critique. As the gospel today says, we are to remove the plank from our own eye before we offer to remove the splint from our brother's eye.
With the mid-term elections approaching, I have practically stopped watching the "news." No one in the political sphere seems to have ever heard this gospel. Even when it looks as if they might be self-critical the remark turns.
I am reminded of the saying, "Any apology that contains the word "if" is not really an apology." (I'm sorry if you were offended.) In the same ways no self-criticism that contains the word "but" is really self criticism. (what I did may have been wrong, but...)
The truth is that if we each day occupy ourselves with our own examination of conscience, correcting our own faults, and discerning and doing the will of God; we won't have time to turn a critical eye on anyone else.
- Fr. Wayne