Armadillos or Peccadillos

I recently watched a nature themed kids’ television show with my son. The animal talked about during this episode was the armadillo. I personally find this creature fascinating—armor for defense and ability to roll up in a ball—how cool is that! My line of thought is somewhat interesting so please let me explain the connection an armored placental mammal has with the title of today’s post.

The dictionary defines the word peccadillo as “a minor sin or offense”.  In fact, the word derives from the Latin word “peccare” which meant “to sin”. Why I am I bringing this up? Well, I am not sure about the rest of humanity, but from my perspective I struggle constantly with the little sins adding up. I justify my lack of concern but thinking, “Matt these are only minor offenses, really I am a good guy and an overall good husband”. I had a revelation during my weekly men’s faith group at my Church—being a “good guy or good husband” is not GOOD ENOUGH.

I have mentioned this New Testament story in a past post, but I think it is appropriate for me to reflect upon Mark 10:17-27 again especially during this Lenten season. Here Jesus encounters a rich young man who asks our Lord a simply and profound question, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus then asks if the man keeps the commandments and he responds quickly, “Teacher, I have kept these things from my youth up!” But the next sentence uttered from Christ sends the man home in sadness—he is challenged to give up his attachment to earthly things.

I truly relate to the rich young man as I am quick to say “Teacher, I have kept these things [commandments] from my youth up.” In other words, I have lived most of my life free from mortal sin and only stumble by way of peccadillos. Yet this is not the mindset of a Christian who fully loves the Creator. I need to make a better pledge to utilize the sacrament of Confession and allow my holy helpmate (my wife) in the sacrament of Matrimony to cleanse me of my minor sins. What is more, it is through all the sacraments but specifically these two sacraments will allow me to adopt an armadillos’ defense against sin. To quote St. Paul in Ephesians 6:11, “Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.”

That is my challenge for you all today, became a “holy armadillo” to protect yourself from the devil’s plot and avoid committing peccadillos.

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