Jon Aquino's Mental Garden

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Sunday, January 15, 2012

On forgetting an anniversary

I have been trying to buy some roses each month for the woman I am courting, on the monthly anniversary of our courtship. Today, it didn't go as planned - I actually bought the roses, but I forgot to give them - I left them behind in the car when I picked her up for Mass. And she told me later that she was expecting them too. So I felt a bit bad.

How does one deal with the guilt or regret that accompanies failure? She said that I could just bring the roses tomorrow, but you still feel bad because things didn't go perfectly. One approach is to follow the advice of the AA prayer ("God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change...") and just accept the fact that it now lies outside of your control, and just move on. But still, you feel bad about the failure. Is there another way to look at it?

You could say, it's God's fault/will (or it's fate). Then you wouldn't feel so bad. But then you'd start feeling bad again because you know deep down that it actually was your fault.

The way that works for me is to realize that yes, it is my fault, but God can make some good come of it. Aquinas demonstrated that God is existence itself; so as I see it, when we mess up, he can order things so that good can come of it nevertheless. There is also a Bible verse that says that "in everything God works for good." So it is interesting to see, when bad things happen, whether any positive things can happen as well.

Such as this blog post! It's something good that sprung up from my failure, and maybe there's someone that will be helped by it.


  • Jon, congratulations on the courtship! Any good Catholic woman worth marrying understands that the magic of courtship runs far deeper than everything going smoothly.

    By Blogger Matthew, at 1/15/2012 8:58 p.m.  

  • Thanks, Matthew! As you've demonstrated, encouraging words from a friend helps as well :-)

    By Blogger Jonathan, at 1/15/2012 9:21 p.m.  

  • Wow! Jon! Good work! You're putting the rest of us to shame with your gesture, too!

    My advice? Love more, worry less.

    Good luck in your romantic adventures.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1/16/2012 7:13 a.m.  

  • Thanks Paul! Great advice. Easier said than done though - I need to meditate on how one can actually worry less. How do you do it? Are you able to turn it off like a switch?

    By Blogger Jonathan, at 1/16/2012 7:56 p.m.  

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