Wednesday, September 5, 2012


Ever sworn off going to confession until you have your life together?  Ever not worn your cross or not practiced a devotional because you feel unworthy?  Many times I have heard this or similar stories.  In one way it does make sense.  All these things – sacraments – sacramentals – are about relationships.  They are about making us one with God and with each other.  If you feel that you have betrayed these relationships it does make sense in a human way that we would avoid the intimate nature of these practices until we have cleaned up our act.  We might do that with our friends on earth.
That being said, how can you work on a relationship if you have cut off all contact?  It is almost like saying that you are not going to go see your doctor until you are healthier. 
Sacraments and sacramentals are there to assist us to becoming healthier.  Everyone struggles.  That is why God gave us these opportunities for grace.  To say, “I’m not going to confession again until I’ve stopped doing this sin,” is to say “I’m going to get healthy before going to see my doctor.”
Of course, the opposite is also true: That of not at lease attempting to rid oneself of sin with the presumed assurance that you will simply be forgiven in confession.  But this is another matter entirely.  Keep God in the picture.  Make yourself available to His graces.  Don’t let sin win by further blocking God out of the picture by the thought that it is a good and noble deed to stay away from Him because you are not good enough.  Nobody is good enough.  He makes you good enough.  He is the only hope.  Don’t give up on Him.  Don’t give up on the Doctor.


Anonymous said...

good advice

Trevor said...

Okay...Okay...I'll go to Confession this Friday!

Mary W. said...

Just read something that St. Therese said about the mercy of Christ that really confirms what you wrote here. It is from her letters to a young, struggling seminarian as recorded in the book Maurice and Therese. It is never about our being worthy, but about Him being merciful and our simply being humble enough to realize that in our weakness we desperately need His mercy and grace. We all sin, but it is what we do afterwards makes all the difference (think Judas and Peter):

"It is when His friends, ignoring their indelicacies [lesser sins, I presume] make a habit out of them and don't ask forgiveness for them, that Jesus can utter those touching words which the Church puts on His lips during Holy Week: 'These wounds you see in the palms of my hands are the ones I received in the house of those who loved me.' For those who love Him, and after each fault come to ask pardon by throwing themselves into His arms, Jesus trembles with joy. He says to His angels what the father of the prodigal son said to his servants: 'Put his best robe on him and put a ring on his finger, and let us rejoice.' Ah! my brother, how the goodnessof Jesus, His merciful love, are so little known! It is true that to enjoy these riches we must be humbled and recognize our nothingness, and that is what so many are not willing to do. "