I am not usually a user of “big words.” For one, I want to make sure I know what I am saying before I say it. Secondly, “big words” scare me. Today, as we walked down to mass for Ash Wednesday, Fr. Ray Kemp asked me if I knew what the word compunction meant. I had no clue, but thanks to modern technology, I pulled out my iPhone and looked it up. The definition from Webster’s was good, but I liked what Fr. Kemp said better.

“Bring up the not so good stuff so you can get rid of it.” The message rings true, certainly for Lent, but it is not exclusive to religion. This is a good idea in any “season.” As Fr. Kemp spoke more during mass he used some more “C” words, confidence and community. If you have read my blog before you know that I love “C” words.

Compunction requires reflection and reflection calls us to action. The action is to get rid of the bad “stuff.” Whether we give something up as a sacrifice or call ourselves to “do something,” compunction calls us to see where we have fallen short and act on it in a way that truly gets us to repent. A good friend of mine recently wrote a blog post that talked about the age old question that comes up in every interview, “Can you tell me about a time you made a mistake and what did you do about it?” Personally, I struggle with getting beyond the past 12 hours before I find one.

Compunction calls us to do something about it, not just call out where we came up short. That is what I love about the message from Fr. Kemp today. May we all live our lives by recalling where we may have come up short and gameplan how we will develop our confidence and stronger communities moving forward. As we learned from Fr. Kemp and St. Francis today, it is all about what we can do for others. Thanks for a great message today Fr. Kemp. As always, Keep it Real!

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