Grateful for Grace

This weekend my daughter Lauren is receiving her First Reconciliation. As one of her Catechist teachers, I am so excited and grateful to be sharing this experience with her! As Catholics, we believe that an abundance of God’s grace is received during this holy Sacrament (outward sign of God’s grace and love) . Speaking out loud our weaknesses and wrongdoings  to a representative of our Lord is a very healing and freeing experience.

There is something about hearing your sins spoken out loud to another that makes you feel so much more accountable and deeply sorry for hurting others and God. I told my students that it feels like getting a car wash for your soul.  Afterwards your heart is made clean and you feel so much joy and love from our merciful Father!  I said, “You know how you feel when you get up on Christmas morning and you are so happy you can hardly stand it? Well, receiving  God’s Grace and forgiveness after Reconciliation feels a lot like that. You feel so much lighter, and brighter, and you have a new sense of hope in your heart to try to love others, yourself, and God even better than before!

It can be painful to honestly look at our actions and motives for doing what we do in certain situations or relationships. Sometimes we see things that we don’t want to see. Sometimes we struggle with the same sins over and over, and we need to continually pray for God’s guidance. It is important for us to realize that we are not alone in our struggles, and that God’s mercy and love  is always present, no matter what. Through Reconciliation we receive the strength and courage to become who we are meant to be!

Confession is an act of honesty and courage; an act of entrusting ourselves, beyond sin, to the mercy of a loving and forgiving God. It is an act of the prodigal son who returns to his Father and is welcomed by him with the kiss of peace. 

 ~Blessed John Paul II               

The Return of the Prodigal Son by Rembrandt. Taken at the Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia

 

 

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