|The section on Faith Sharings contains
the following links:
||"Or do you presume
upon the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience? Do you not
know that God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?" Romans 2:3-5
Repentance is expressed regret. Within our hearts we acknowledge that we have done wrong and need to say we are sorry and make amends, both to God and to those whom we have harmed in any way. To carry that regret around unacknowledged and unspoken leads to guilt which eats away at the soul. Lay down the burden in front of the Lord in true sorrow and regret, seeking His forgiveness. Our Father in heaven waits for us every second to turn our hearts towards Him. He sent His only Son to earth to take on the whole sin of the world but we in turn have to make the moves.
"I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance" Luke 10:12-14 (RSV)
Jesus told the story of the Prodigal son and the joy the father had to see his son return after many years in exile and having spent his inheritance on 'wine, women and song'. Parents who have lost their children to the world of evil worry and pray for them constantly. If they return and change their ways imagine the happiness of those parents. God is the very same. We are His beloved children and He grieves over our bad decisions and misguided journeys too. But still He waits for us to return like the lost sheep to the flock.
"Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. Luke 15:6-8
We are human and we make mistakes and God loves us none the less for that but we block our way to Him through sin. WE block OUR way! God never abandons us, it is we who turn away from Him. The Redemptorist Fathers have given us a lovely simple system of looking into our hearts and finding the ways we have done wrong - an examination of conscience by dividing our lives into some general areas. But we must be truthful and honest to self, because to avoid or deny any area we are only fooling ourselves - God knows us through and through. Try going through the following list, asking the Holy Spirit to open our eyes to those areas that need change, and then say a small prayer of repentance, seeking His help and grace to avoid further occassions of repeating the wrongdoing.
"God our Father, I thank You for loving me. I am sorry for all my sins - for not loving others and not loving You. Help me to live like Jesus and not to sin again."
For us as Catholics we believe that the graces given out through the Sacrament of Reconciliation in the confessional are all-powerful. The Priest is the representative of Jesus on earth and in humility we kneel before him, talking out the wrongs we have done, saying we are sorry and asking God for forgiveness.
"On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!" After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. Again Jesus said, "Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you." And with that he breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven." John 20;19-23 RSV
The Father's blessing to us comes through the hands of the Priest blessed by a long unbroken line of bishops right back to Jesus Christ.Yes, even those Priests who too have sinned in their own weakness as humans. God never takes away the gift He has given and through the Sacrament of Ordination to His Holy Priesthood He continues to use His Priests as conduits or pipelines to us. He is grieved by the sins of Priests and waits for them too to repent but He does not allow their sins to block our way back to Him.
Satan is using these human, weak and sorrowful men to claim people for himself. Their wrongdoing as Shepherds is scattering His Sheep, giving the weak 'faithful' an excuse to turn their backs on God and to stop going to Mass and Confession. We are all open to temptation and the heart and the mind of a Priest is no more divine than is ours, no more able to withstand temptation then we can. As members of the Body of Christ we should be praying for our Priests every day. They are more vulnerable to the attacks of Satan than we are! Satan knows well how to split and divide. See the page on Priests Need Prayers Too!.
some of the other areas of Moytura's web site.
Mary Mullins, Cregmore, Claregalway, County Galway, Ireland.
Phone: +353 91 798407