Perfectly Imperfect

How can any of us aspire, pray, and work toward perfection while remaining, always and anywhere, imperfect? It’s a perfectly solid question with a perfectly perfect, imperfect answer.

Let’s take the precision of perfection first. Music is the epitome of precision. Each note is carefully crafted and leads to the next until a composition, in all its complexities, is complete. Nothing is missing. Detail is the unifying rule of the day for musicians as much as a surgeon holds a scalpel. Unerring and faultless is the final product. Be it a polka or symphony, it is unity in the perfect sense of the word.

What, then, do we do with this spot-on, bang-on creation? Why it’s listened to by fragile, imperfect ears emitting nothing less than what? Emotions. Yes, that fluid, always changeable, passing feelings. Try counting your feelings one day; you’ll be exhausted by lunchtime.

Sadness, joy, wonder, amazement – this open-ended emotional list of emotions is endless. It is frankly the most mismatched marriage of life. At the same time, how could we survive and thrive without this weird conjugal bond?

What a contradiction. All the same, what a joy when perfection meets imperfection. A faultless melody is presented to fault-filled ears.

What does my little ditty today have to do with faith and religion? It’s the union of Jesus Christ with both of our ears. And, it’s a capital “W,” – Word made flesh, once dwelt and continuing to dwell among us.

“O God, who are moved by acts of humility and respond with forgiveness to works of penance, lend your merciful ear to our prayers and, in your kindness, pour out the grace of your blessing on your servants who are marked with these ashes,that, as they follow the Lenten observances,they may be worthy to come with minds made pure to celebrate the Paschal mystery of your son.Through Christ our Lord. Amen.”

About Rev. Joe Jagodensky, SDS.

A Roman Catholic priest since 1980 and a member of the Society of the Divine Savior (Salvatorians). Six books on the Catholic church and U.S. culture are available on
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