Skip to main content

Returning to the Sacrament

For many years I felt no compunction to experience the Sacrament of Reconciliation, having only been once - on the day of my Confirmation with no formal preparation. As I began to rediscover my connection to the faith, this missing Sacrament began to pull at my heart. At first, God’s gentle tug was easily ignored. But as the years wore on, I learned more about the beauty and grace offered, the reasons why it was a Sacrament of healing and felt God’s pull getting stronger.

My turning point began while helping my daughter in her own preparation to receive the Sacrament for the first time. We read John 20:19-23 together, where Jesus bestowed the gift to forgive sins on the disciples. We discussed how our sins are forgiven, and we "experience healing and wholeness and the tenderness of God’s divine mercy in the Sacrament." In Reconciliation, we humble ourselves before God, as he asks us to do. The Sacrament imparts divine grace through the real presence of our Lord.

Watching my daughter walk out of the confessional, I could see her radiate God’s love and embrace a pure faith in Jesus. Fr. John had given her a coin with a prayer inscription to always remember God’s mercy, “Jesus, I Trust in You.” I found myself wanting that radiance and mercy for myself, but my pride and fear stood in the way.

For the next year, everywhere I turned I heard about the healing power of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Fr. Roderick from SQPN, Greg and Jennifer of The Catholics Next Door, author Patrick Madrid, author and speaker Sister Briege McKenna, and most profoundly, from my own parish priest Fr. John at Mass. Fr. John consistently spoke on the importance and healing offered to us by Jesus in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. We were reminded that confessing our sins was only part of it; what we truly needed was the forgiveness, healing and reconciliation Christ offers to us. I knew he and the others were right.

The idea of walking into the confessional and saying, “Bless me Father for I have sinned. It has been 21 years since my first and only confession” filled me with trepidation. I was ashamed it had been so long. How can I aspire to be a good Catholic and refuse a Sacrament?

Finally, one day during Lent I made up my mind that I was going. I grabbed several books on the Sacrament I had been reading, including A Pocket Guide to Confession, before I left the house and ran my errands. I did not speak about it all day for fear I would once again rationalize myself out of going. With my kids in tow, we arrived at the parish to a line outside the confessional. After settling my kids in the foyer with lots of library books, I waited and silently prayed for guidance.

Simply put, my fear, trepidation and shame were unwarranted. After hearing the words of absolution and performing my penance, I felt a huge emotional release. I had let myself get in the way of my relationship with God. Finally, I was able to hear Him more clearly without the encumbrance of sin. Over the following days and weeks a new spiritual calmness washed over me as I was cleansed and healed by the Sacrament.

Sharing my 21-year absence in receiving God’s healing grace is difficult for me, but I know I am not alone in my avoidance of this Sacrament. If you are like me and have been away from the Sacrament of Reconciliation, please know that your desire to seek the way back to the healing power offered to us by Jesus is in my prayers.

Receive New Blog Posts by Email

* indicates required

Connect on Social

Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket

Popular posts from this blog

Don’t Leave Facebook for Lent – Take it Over!

  So many Christians leave Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media channels for their Lenten devotion or fast.  With the purpose of Lent being to rededicate our lives to God and grow in holiness, I understand why so many fast from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more for Lent.  Our social media feeds these days are full of darkness, sadness, and temptation.  They are far from the original purpose of the platforms to bring community together. Pope Benedict said in his message for World Communications Day 2013, “Believers are increasingly aware that, unless the Good News is made known also in the digital world, it may be absent in the experience of many people for whom this existential space is important.”  He continued. “Social networks… also reshape the dynamics of communication which builds relationships.”  This is part of the reason why I dedicate my time to sharing the Good News online.  I believe in my call as a Christian to go and make disciples of ALL NATIONS – eve

Prayer to End the School Year

Another school year is coming to an end.  And what a year the 2017-2018 school year was..... The events of the last 9 months have made me not only thankful to see it end but needing to get on my knees to Thank God for many things.  This school year began with Hurricane Harvey hitting our area and ended with the devastating school shooting at nearby Santa Fe High School. In the middle of the crisis around us there were so many beautiful things, events and people that touched and changed our community and family for the better.  Let's just start with the teachers and administrators who have interacted with my kids this year...  A special social studies teacher that made a fast friend out of my geography obsessed daughter, an ELA teacher who slowly won my oldest daughter over with her love of the written word, a soccer trainer who pushed my son harder than he thought he could handle, and then helped him recognize how that hard work paid off.  What about a school nurse who repeated

12 Quotes from St. Teresa of Calcutta

St. Teresa of Calcutta made a deep impression on me as a young girl as I watched her on tv and in news. Who doesn't remember the iconic picture of Mother Teresa with Princess Diana splashed across all magazines, newspapers and news shows?  To me, Saints were people who lived a long time ago, but here she was, a saint in the making.  Mother Teresa was a role model of how to become a Saint in our modern world, by giving her life to God through her dedication to the poor. On her feast day, I want to share with you a few of my favorite quotes from St. Teresa of Calcutta.   Her words are seemingly simple and straightforward but packed with meaning.  My selection comes out of a new favorite book I picked up called, Mother Teresa: Her Essential Wisdom by Carol Kelly-Gangi.  This little book contains hundreds of quotes from St. Teresa of Calcutta centered around specific themes as well as a summary of her biography and quotes about her from others.  "God does not demand that