Happy Sunday Everyone,
Things at Joseph’s House are a little quiet as summer winds down and autumn approaches. We have many exciting happenings occurring in the coming weeks including our Volunteer Appreciation BBQ and our $5,000 Cash Raffle, so while things are quiet in our home, I thought I would share some thoughts on healing.
One of the callings of Joseph’s House is to evangelize. As a great sinner part of what I have been appointed to do for others is to share the journey leading to the founding of this mission of life and love. This week as a follow-up to “Where is Your Calcutta?” I will share some thoughts concerning healing. All the moms who come to us need healing in some way and although it’s tough to teach all of this to them in a year or so, seeds are planted leading them in the direction of growing in reliance and trust in Our Lord, thus beginning the journey to healing. There are also programs such as Project Rachel through the Respect Life Office of the Diocese of Syracuse where healing can begin after abortion. This is a wonderful program I have participated in. For others who may not understand healing is needed even from venial sin there is much to share.
It is our nature as human beings to sin. It is much more unnatural to not sin. We can sin in so many ways, “in our thoughts, in our words, in what we do and what we fail to do”, it’s nearly impossible not to sin daily. Even an accumulation of little sins, venial sins, can clog up the soul (think of your dryer filter if you don’t clean it regularly) so it’s difficult to hear God speak in our hearts. So how does one sweep the lint away and heal the wounds sin leaves on our hearts, minds and souls, especially grievous sin?
The best place to begin is down on our knees in conversation with God letting Him know we are remorseful. While this doesn’t assuage our sin or our guilt, it is the beginning of a dialogue with Our Lord hopefully leading us to the confessional and the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
You may wonder, why bother going to a priest for forgiveness when I can speak to God directly? From personal experience I can tell you many times when confessing to a holy priest the words you hear from him after confessing your sins are the words of God himself.
In 1999 I experienced this mercy first hand in the confessional when I finally found the grace to go back to reconciliation after more than 35 years. There were many sins including the horrendous mistakes of my youth and after tearfully confessing them all, dear Father Joseph Champlain said to me, “You have suffered enough all of these years and I absolve you of your sins in the Name of the Father and The Son and The Holy Spirit.” He didn’t even give me any penance.
This experience gave me much to think about. It made me realize God knew how much I had suffered in my childhood and how those sufferings manifested themselves in my sin as a young adult. It made me realize God’s Divine Mercy was greater than my most grievous sins and it made me realize there was no safer place to speak of my mistakes than to a good and holy priest in a confessional. It made me realize although I would never forget the horrible sins of my past, Our Lord in Heaven had already forgotten all of them. Most of all, my experience in the confessional made me realize I was loved and for me this love of God was the greatest gift ever received. Since early childhood I had always believed I was created “bad” and God hated me. I truly believed God made good people and bad people and for some reason He chose bad for me and I was destined for hell. That day in 1999 in the confessional with Father Champlain the fears carried since childhood were wiped away. I finally understood God Only Loves.
The Divine Mercy Our Lord speaks of is divine redemption and divine healing. It is the first step in falling in love with Christ, with Our church and with ourselves. It is the beginning of the journey to Heaven as we grow in trust of Our Lord knowing He is all merciful always, if only we run to Him through the Sacraments when we fall.
I cannot get enough of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. I go often as I am now keenly aware of when I have offended Our Lord. Many times, my offenses may seem trivial, including a negative attitude, rudeness or indifference. Many times, it is the thoughts in my mind and what I fail to do. When these seemingly minor offenses are shared in the confessional and the filter of my soul is cleansed of the lint that’s been collected, the voice of Our Lord comes through more clearly. Hearing Our Lord’s voice clearly and consistently builds an awareness of what He considers sinful and is the beginning of being able to think as Our Lord thinks. It is the beginning of being able to understand how God works within us. It is the beginning of wisdom; unending trust and the knowledge God’s mind does not work the way the minds of human beings’ work. Most of all it is the beginning of happiness, of joy and the beginning of being able to take on and defeat any obstacle in your life according to God’s will. All in all, it’s the beginning of hope and there is not a better way to live than in the hope, trust and love of Jesus Christ!
I encourage you to visit your priest this week and go to Reconciliation if you haven't recently so you might begin this most wondrous journey. The National Catholic Register has a great blog post on the 17 Things that Jesus Revealed to St. Faustina on Divine Mercy and you can find more information at the Divine Mercy website.
In closing, I would ask you all to please, pray for our priests, our bishops and for our church during these most difficult times and pray most of all for the healing of all victims of this most scandalous abuse. Let us always remember God has Mercy for all sinners and to be merciful as He is merciful so all might be healed.
God Bless you my friends!
Love and Prayers,