I limped around the house this morning, feeling an irritation against my food but unable to locate the cause. Each time I searched my shoe and sock for something spiny, I could find nothing; yet when I put them on again and tried to walk, the same painful stab returned. Finally I comped the sock with my fingertips until I found a broken piece of sand spur that had lodged near a thick part of the sock. Its spike tips were causing the irritation. Such a small bit of spur to generate so much discomfort! I think of my ‘small’ sins, those little acts of omission or commission which seem so trivial, but which eventually cause me—or others—pain. Selfish behavior, reveling in someone else’s losses, petty revenge, gossip, laziness, failure to speak out when there is injustice—these, like the sand spur, wound both God and me. Locating these ‘minor’ irritants may be difficult but necessary. Forgive me, Father, when I fail to behave like your child. Please strengthen me and grant me the resolve to do your work with diligence and love. Help me get rid of the smallest of sins. Amen.

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