Our Lady and Sheen

Confession and Penance

I have made a day pilgrimage to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception with my friend and brother, Bernard today. I went to confession with an older, Slavic sounding priest (languages being a new interest of mine), as part of that pilgrimage.

The counsel given was “Our Lord Jesus Christ suffered death on a cross, resurrected and ascended into Heaven for our salvation, and we can show our joy by repent, repent, repent [sic] when we have done him wrong.” I won’t get into it too much, but I had one sin I thought was mortal, and then those venial sins that pile up and start brush fires, so I was doing “good” compared to normal. I was impressed when he gave me 5 Our Fathers and 1 Hail Mary. I’ve become accustomed to more hail Mary’s…. Especially being in the shrine dedicated to her (so many altars!).

When I began praying I thought “this is more than normal… But it’s really not that much.”. Then it got deeper, our penance is a joke by human standards. It is basically (usually) like when our parents would tell us to “say sorry,” to our siblings. God, omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient is not “impressed” with our prayers in the same way we can be. He searches our heart and KNOWS us. As in sitting in front of the Blessed Sacrament, I feel foolish thinking that just by these simple prayers God I “make up for” my sin… Which is infinite since it was against the infinite God.

Instead, in God’s great mercy and compassion HE blots out my offense. In my most pitiful state, like a jester, I come with my words, stammering like a fool. HE stands before me and lovingly accepts the token. I, like a dog returns to his vomit, return to my sin; HE, infinitely merciful, welcomes me back again, cleaning me up.

Why, O Lord, do you give me this Grace? You don’t wish your loved ones to die! Who, O Lord are your loved ones? All men.

Hear us, and answer us, O Lord, Almighty God.

June 19, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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