Before we begin to dive into this meditation today, I ask that you go somewhere where no one will interrupt you, close your eyes to any distractions, open your hands in receptivity and surrender while asking (out loud) for the Holy Spirit to reveal Himself to you and guide you in this time of prayer and reflection. I know it can be very difficult to just STOP and BE STILL. However, it is in silence and solitude “that God enables your heart to hear the secret words that only He can speak. His heart will speak to yours in a language that only” you can understand (The Imitation of Mary p.37).
As a Catholic woman, when you hear about mercy, what pops up in you head? Personally, confession is always what I think of. I love all seven sacraments of the Church, but confession is one of my favorites (If its even possible to have favorites....) If it wasn't for the hope that it gave me I would be an awful, miserable, horrid wreck!! I don't even want to imagine life without it. Scary :-/ I also think about the image of our Lord that was revealed to Saint Faustina: The Divine Mercy image, of which I have propped on my bedroom wall. His rays of grace and mercy are bursting from his fierce yet tender heart. Underneath the image it reads, “Jesus, I trust in you.”
As I fall asleep to this painting, I've thought numerous times about how it follows me around. How Jesus in his mercy has always been there for me. To be completely honest, I wasn't always a bible loving young lady. Crazy, right? I still struggle at times to love my Beloved like He deserves. Don't we all? That is why there is confession. It heals the chasm I put between me and him when I choose to turn away in my selfishness and weakness.
Confession is medicine for the soul. The way it was explained to me was that Jesus is the Divine Doctor who we need to visit regularly for our 'check-ups.' He tells us if we're spiritually healthy or spiritually sick. If we're healthy, he says great! Keep on doing what you're doing!! If we're sick he says, here is some medicine and take it regularly until you get better. Then he gives us a plan of how NOT to get sick again. After I get out of the confessional I feel amazing! I can literally feel a difference in my core. Proverbs 18:21 says, “Life and death are in the power of the tongue.” This is so true when it comes to the sacraments! The words that your confessor breathes over you give you NEW LIFE. NEW LIFE ladies.
Now, I know there are lots of wonderful Catholic ladies out there who think to themselves, “Why do I need confession when I can go straight to Jesus? I don't need a priest to be the mediator!” We get these notions in our mind that the priest will look at us differently, judge us, scorn us, tell others our sins, etc... If you have these fears, let me assure you that one, you are not alone, two, fear is not of the Lord, and three, your confessor has heard so so so many confessions in his priesthood that he most likely won't remember what you said once you leave the confessional. In 2 Timothy 1:7 we read that, “God did not give us a spirit of cowardice [fear] but rather of power and love and self-control." If there is one thing that I want you to remember from this reflection, it is this: DO NOT BE AFRAID of meeting Jesus in the sacrament of confession. It is NOT the priest who you speak to, but Christ. Fear is what the devil uses to control us and keep us from the happiness that Christ offers us. How many times do you not do something out of fear of the unknown? Rebuke any and all fear that comes when you think of reconciling with your Lord because that is not coming from him, but the evil one.
I encourage you to find a good examination of conscious if its been awhile since your last confession. Pope Francis says, “The God of mercy; he does not tire of forgiving. We are the ones who tire in asking for forgiveness, but he does not tire.” In order to receive God's healing mercy, we must first ask for it. This takes courage, determination, and humility. So go on and be your humble self :)