Saturday, March 12, 2011

Taking out the trash

While I certainly take out the physical trash at home each week, my goal is to take out the spiritual trash at least once a week (or as often as necessary) through the sacrament of confession. I feel so blessed to have a local parish that offers confession daily before each Mass (there are 27+ Masses a week!). Thus, there is never an excuse not to take advantage of the sacrament.

Since my return to the church in 2007, I find myself reflecting where I  am currently in my spiritual life as compared to the previous year. With this, I have also gained a deeper appreciation for Lent. As we are called to repent in this time period, I continue to look at areas that I need to work on. This means frequenting the confessional with a deeper sense of renewal in my life.  Each rung of the spiritual ladder that I climb works away at those vices and sins. As I continue on my path of sanctification, God seemingly calls me to a higher standard in so many respects. This means understanding sin better and making more sincere and well thought out confessions.

I often find myself scribbling notes for confession on a piece of paper before going into the confessional, or I tend to forget things. Today, I used a bookmark (a receipt) in a Lenten book that I am reading for those notes. When I got back to my vehicle after confession, I tore up the receipt. The sound of tearing paper seemed to resonate loudly. With the pieces then set on top of the book, the imagery of what I just did struck me in a powerful way that I didn't expect. At that moment, I realized how my sins were forgiven in God's eyes. Just like the destroying of the receipt, God forgot my sins at the instant of confession, cleansing my soul. Often times, I tend dwell on the past and the sins that I have committed, feeling like they drag me down. In the tearing of the paper, today was a great reminder that those sins are forgiven and forgotten in God's eyes. Deo Gratias!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Isn't this the unfortunate truth?

The Mass readings this past week have been powerful in many respects, but they all come down to trusting the Lord, which can be difficult at times in this world. I came across the following button at another parish I was visiting for a meeting. One doesn't have to look further than the cycle of sin in the Old Testament that even continues in a rampant fashion today. God kept saying to trust him and his commandments, but it people chose their own paths of destruction. We just don't seem to trust God and choose our desires even when it comes to the Ten Commandments. Society just wants to pick and choose like a cafeteria...

Deo Gratias!

Thanks be to God! Lots of great stuff going on in my spiritual life lately. I can only be thankful for all the graces that I continue to receive. Here are a couple of them.

Last weekend myself, and all the other Lectors in the Parish, were formally installed into the Lector ministry at our Parish during a Saturday Mass. What an honor! We each had a Benedictine cross that was blessed during the installation and then placed around our neck by the Pastor. We'll wear it every time we proclaim the readings at Mass.  This particular cross was chosen by the Pastor, given the fact that our current Pope is Benedict.

"O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall proclaim your praise."

In other news, my reversion story appeared on "Why I'm Catholic" this past week.  I have had a profound reversion back to practicing my Catholic faith, when I returned to the church in 2007. My first blog post (Three Year Anniversary of Coming Home) is what the story on Why I'm Catholic was based on. Have a visit to their website, as this Lay Apostolate is doing great work to share people's conversions to the faith.

The Lord continues to surprise and bless me in so many ways. Don't get me wrong, some of these blessings come as storms, but when one sees the message and meaning, it is powerful.