Friday, February 3, 2012

It's ok to waffle

Yesterday we blessed candles, today we use those candles to bless throats.
How appropriate that the gospel today is the famous story in which Herod in an unthinking moment promises his daughter anything she wants, then is too proud to renege when what she wants is the head of John the Baptist.

In our modern political arena the cardinal sin now seems to be changing your mind. Now any change of direction by a person is labeled waffling. We used to call it conversion. When did admitting you were wrong become something a leader must never do?

What Herod promised was just plain stupid. He said it without thinking. We all do this. The proper response is not to defend or rationalize, but to apologize.
We have the sacrament of Penance in the Catholic Church, because we understand the importance of saying, "I was wrong." Those two words from the confiteor "mea culpa" used to be commonly used in English.

Today as we bless throats, we are reminded how important it is that we think before we speak. Truth be told, no matter how hard we try, there are going to be times when we are wrong, there are going to be times when we say things that are stupid. We are human.

The important thing is how we respond. Can we acknowledge our errors, and change? The only time waffling is wrong is when you go from doing right to doing wrong.