Sacraments

Power Washed By The Blood Of The Lamb

   As I stood in the confessional line, I asked the Blessed Mother Mary, St. Joseph, St. Padre Pio and St Faustina Kowalska to help me open wide my heart to reveal the sins that held me in bondage. I asked for honesty and humility.

   As I prayed silently, feeling the weight of my sins upon my soul, the Lord began to open my heart to his mercy and forgiveness. When I entered the confessional, I was ready to unburden my soul.

   For my penance, the priest encouraged me to spend some quiet time before the Blessed Sacrament every day. I knew this was the answer to rising above my stressful situation at work.

   My work environment and my workload have become overwhelming stressful. I said and did somethings at work that was inappropriate behavior. As the priest gave me absolution, I felt God's forgiveness and mercy in my heart.

   I also knew that I needed to go to my boss and ask for her forgiveness. It is important I build bridges of understanding instead of driving a deep wedge in our working relationship. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church-1469: “Sin damages or even breaks fraternal communion. The sacrament of Penance repairs or restores it.”

   I am so grateful for confession. There are graces upon graces that flow out from the Sacrament of Reconciliation. It is a sacrament of mercy. It is a sacrament of love. It is a sacrament of healing. “The whole power of the sacrament of Penance consists in restoring us to God's grace and joining us with him in an intimate friendship.”-Catechism of the Catholic Church-1468. 

    Frequent confession helps to open my heart to embrace God's goodness. It clears away the guilt and the shame, so that I can begin to see the goodness inside myself and the goodness inside of others. I have found in my own life that frequent confession is essential in chipping away little by little those annoying habitual sins that keep me from growing closer to Jesus.

   It is the grace of the sacrament that assists the sinner in overcoming sin and the temptation to sin.

   Jesus told St. Faustina Kowalska, “Every time you go to confession, immerse yourself entirely in My mercy, with great trust, so that I may pour the bounty of grace upon your soul. When you approach the confessional, know this, that I myself am waiting for you. I am only hidden by the priest, but I myself act in your soul. Here the misery of the soul meets the God of mercy.”--Divine Mercy in my soul Diary-St. Faustina Kowalska-1602.

   Jesus instituted this powerful sacrament of mercy so He can seek, find, forgive and carry to safety His precious little lambs that are caught in the brambles of their own sins.

   After spending some quiet time in front of the Blessed Sacrament, I left the Church feeling clean and refreshed. On my way home I pulled into a car wash to power wash my very dirty car. As I was washing my muddy car, I thought to myself that like my car, the Lord has washed me clean by the power of this beautiful sacrament.

   I also realized that my car will eventually get muddy and dirty again. It will need to be power washed again to remove the built up grim and dirt. I, like my car, will also again need to be power washed by the Blood of the Lamb through His Sacrament of Reconciliation.

   “The Lord is kind and merciful. He pardons all your iniquities, he heals all your ills, He redeems your life from destruction, he crowns you with kindness and compassion.”- Psalm 103.

 

 

Come Let Us Adore Him

    I participated in a three-day parish retreat several years ago at St. William Catholic Church in Shelby, MT conducted by Father Armand Nigro, S.J. For a number of years Father Nigro has been giving retreats throughout the United States for priests, religious and lay people.

  During the three-day retreat, our parish priest and Father Nigro were available for individual confessions one hour before the evening sessions began.  During this hour, they also had Benediction, Exposition and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.

   I was silently kneeling praising and adoring Jesus during Adoration and asking Him to help me examine my conscience so I could make a good confession. An inner voice, which I’ve come to recognize as Jesus’ voice spoke in my heart, “I can see straight into the depths of your soul. Do you want me to show you your sins”? I responded with a silent yes.

   In the past I attempted to the best of my ability to examine my conscience before going to confession, but I’ve never seen my sins with such clarity and simplicity as I did during this time of Adoration.

   As I stood in line waiting to go into the confessional, a burning desire came over me to pour out my sins to the priest. When I went into the confessional, I was weeping as I poured out each of my sins to the priest. It was so cleansing. Afterwards I felt not only clean, but a heavy burden had been lifted from me.

   During this quiet time after confession before the Blessed Sacrament, I asked Jesus to give me a plan of action, so I could avoid falling into sin again. What came to me with such clarity and grace were the following, “Spend time in silent prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, participate in daily Mass often to receive the Bread of Life and meditate on Scripture daily.

   This graced filled experience convinced me more than ever of the importance of spending time before the Blessed Sacrament. There is such blessed power and unconditional love poured out from Jesus, as you adore Him in the Blessed Sacrament.

   Sadly, some Catholics because they have been misinformed, say that Exposition and Adoration have no place in the modern Church today and is pre-Vatican II. But they do not know or have forgotten the deep love and power coming forth from Jesus, as you simply adore Him. The King of Kings and Lord of Lords wants you to spend time with Him so He can pour out His love to you.

   It is very much a part of Vatican II and our beloved late Pope John Paul II continues to encourage us in his writings to spend time with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Pope John Paul II states in one of his writings, “The Church and the world have a great need for Eucharistic worship. Jesus awaits us in this sacrament of love. Let us not refuse this time to go to meet him in adoration, in contemplation full of faith, and open to making amends for the serious offenses and crimes of the world. Let our adoration never cease.” (Dominicae cenae-3) 

   When we celebrate Mass, we are contemplatives in action, but when we adore Him in the Blessed Sacrament, we are contemplatives resting at the feet of Our Lord Jesus Christ. As Catholics we need both to grow closer to Jesus and His Church.

   We serve an awesome God and all He wants is for us to take the time to bow down before Him and adore Him in the Blessed Sacrament. This holy time of contemplation before Our Eucharistic Lord refreshes and nourishes are tired spirits so that we can go forward to live our lives with inner peace, joy and strength regardless of the problems and challenges we encounter each day.

   This precious time before the Lord is not wasted time, but the best time spent this side of Heaven. (Article reprinted from the Nov/Dec 2004 Family Digest Magazine.)

 

 

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15.05 | 07:49

Beautiful!

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14.05 | 10:08

Thank you, Connie, for coming to our May Crowning. It is always one of my favorite days at St. Andrew.

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20.04 | 19:58

Amen, Connie. Beautiful!

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11.01 | 09:30

Oh Connie! How I needed to read this today. Thank you and God Bless.

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