Our Lady and Sheen

Sacramental Saturday and Peace

 

 

Hopefully, the following prayer is familiar to all Catholics:

“God, the Father of mercies, through the death and resurrection of His Son
has reconciled the world to Himself and sent the Holy Spirit among us
for the forgiveness of sins;
Through the ministry of the Church may God give you pardon and peace,
and I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”

The prayer of absolution that is prayed over the penitent during the Sacrament of Reconciliation is the reason we go to confession, in a way, so that we know that we are forgiven for the crimes we have committed against God.

Today turned out to be an extremely rough day for me, in addition to needing to go to Reconciliation, I had an encounter that upset me very greatly, one of those flubs that is a mixture of truth, misunderstanding, hurt feelings, and the like that occur on this Earth.  I hadn’t felt this bad in a long time, especially knowing that it was something that could have been avoided.  Which leads me back to the Sacrament.

I have heard the prayer of absolution many times in my life, in that I live my life more like a St. Peter than a St. John.  Today, however, while the priest was praying over me, I heard clearly the “pardon and peace” portion of the prayer.  And while I know that I was mostly there for the “I absolve you” to hear this was a great relief at a time that I needed it most.  Not only does the Lord our God wish to give us absolution and pardon, but between the two He wishes us peace.

In Philippians 4:7 we hear clearly from St. Paul of the “peace of God, which surpasseth all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”  And we trust in this, the scriptures and the teachings of the Fathers reiterate God’s desire for us to rest in Him, and seek peace in Him.  Not a lack of suffering as some would say, but rather an acceptance of God’s great Love for us.  In John 14:27 Jesus Himself tells us, “Peace I leave with you: my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, do I give unto you. Let not your heart be troubled: nor let it be afraid,” which is important enough to be repeated at the Sign of Peace during the Mass.

Continually we hear of peace, and the scriptures are many: Isaiah 26:3, Ephesians 6:23, John 20:19, and so on.  There are two that I wish to mention, briefly.

Immediately following Confession today, I went to the Adoration Chapel and prayed Vespers.  The first Psalm, Psalm 122, and in that Psalm we hear shouted by the Psalmist:  “Peace be to your homes! May peace reign in your walls, in your palaces, peace!” and again “For love of my brethren and friends I say: ‘Peace upon you.'”  It was a great validation of the feeling I had received.

Finally, at the end of the school year this year, a parent gave me a cross with 2 Thessalonians 3:16 written on it: “May the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way.”

Christians will complain, sometimes about the hard things in life.  The crosses we bear, the torments we encounter, are indeed trying sometimes, as St. Peter tells us.  Sometimes, however, the hardest things to accept in our Holy Faith are Joy and Peace, both of which God, who is Joy and who is Peace wants us to have.  Sometimes it’s joy and peace in suffering, sometimes, however it’s just having joy and peace.

Let us remember that the Gospel is the Good News!  It is not just the news.  Archbishop Sheen, Blessed Pope John Paul II, Mother Theresa knew the joys of life in their own ways, but always in God’s infinite Love for us.

Archbishop Sheen, united with Our Lady whom you loved dearly, pray for us that peace may be in our homes and in ourselves.

“In peace I shall both lie down and sleep, for you alone, LORD, make me secure.” Psalm 4:9

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June 18, 2011 - Posted by | Sacramental Saturday | , , , , , , , ,

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