Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Mary TV Daily Reflection 3/16/2016

(c)Mateo Ivankovic 2016

March 16, 2016
Dear Family of Mary!
January 25, 1995 "Dear children! I invite you to open the door of your heart to Jesus as the flower opens itself to the sun. Jesus desires to fill your hearts with peace and joy. You cannot, little children, realize peace if you are not at peace with Jesus. Therefore, I invite you to confession so Jesus may be your truth and peace. So, little children, pray to have the strength to realize what I am telling you. I am with you and I love you. Thank you for having responded to my call."
We are drawing near the end of Lent! Now is the time to go to confession!! We want to be ready for Easter. This long road of Lenten sacrifice and renunciation is nearing an end. Our hearts have been softened by our penances. We are more sensitive to our sinfulness, and more ready to be rid of the burden of sin on our souls! It's time!!
We want Jesus to be our truth and our peace!!
For those who may be struggling with Confession (and there are many of us who fear Confession) I want to share a lovely personal reflection sent to me by Kathy. Out of her own experience, Kathy examines two reasons why she thinks we may shy away from confession.  Here is her reflection:
What stops someone from experiencing the Sacrament of Reconciliation with God? 
I have had a few instances where I have been rejected by people in my life. At the beginning I felt I should offer up the pain in union with the sufferings of Christ, after all Jesus was and is constantly rejected in this world. I noticed that I was still angry at what had happened to me. I asked God to explain this anger as I felt that something was still unresolved. While praying about this, God showed me that my anger was coming from a FEAR of rejection. I was taking the rejection of the other people personally and it was causing me anguish. Did their rejection mean I was a bad person or had I just done something to annoy them? My anger was showing me that I was mistakenly thinking that I was a bad person when they had rejected me.
When I contemplated my fear of rejection I realized that I feared that God would reject me because I was a bad person. Could God really see me apart from my sin or could He forgive me and accept all of me because He loved me.
While analyzing further I recognized that deep down I reject God every day. Maybe I pray for 2 or 3 hours every day but what happens for the other 21 hours of the day. Maybe my prayer also is very halfhearted and doesn't count for much. It only appeases my bad conscience. My soul recognized that my behavior toward God was severely lacking and could I really expect God not to reject me when I was rejecting Him for a large part of my day. I realized that to have peace in my soul I would have to love Him 24 hours a day. He would have to be in every part of my day. In my sleeping, working, talking, free-time, chores around the house etc.
I know from the story of the prodigal son that the father didn't reject His son because of his sin. He ran out to greet him when he decided to return to the father. I have to hold on to God's word that confirms that He is love and will never reject me. Though a mother rejects the child of her womb, He will never reject me. That's His promise.
So many people feel deeply the shame of their sins and believe that they are bad people because they sin. We need to separate the action from the person (even for ourselves). When the woman was about to be stoned for adultery, Jesus didn't condemn her, only her action. We need to understand that we are loved children of God who are always loved by God but we do bad actions (i.e. sin) often out of ignorance. If we can separate our sense of our "self" from the feeling of being bad because we have done something bad it will be so much easier for us to approach God and the fear of going to Confession will disappear. We are going to Confession to confess our bad actions and mistakes. In God's eyes we are always His children and loved by Him even when we are in sin.  (And God's merciful heart forgives us those sins, no matter how bad they are, if we ask for that forgiveness.)
Don't let a fear of rejection keep you from God. He will not reject His own child. It is you who can reject Him.
Don't see yourself as a bad person because of your sin. You are a person who is loved by God who makes mistakes by committing bad actions that hurt other people. If you believe you are bad, you won't be able to change for the better. You will remain in your sin. You must believe that you are loved by God to be able to change for the good.
Thank you, Kathy, for this very honest sharing. It really brings peace to stop defining ourselves by our failures and sins. We are weak and we fall. But God loves us and created us as His children. God doesn't make junk. He loves us, and wants us to repent and go to confession so we can be happy with Him once again. He waits for us in the Confessional, like the Father of the Prodigal. His arms are wide open. It is only our fear that our sins define us and our distrust in God's mercy that keeps us away.  
Time to return to Confession!!
In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!
Cathy Nolan
©Mary TV 2016

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