The Sacrament of Confession & Absolution/Reconciliation: Finding the Freedom from Masks the Suffocate Us…
Discussion thought of the day:
In our Bible Study last night – we talked of a description of some religious leaders in Israel’s history who “whitewashed” that which was being built, before it was completed. They made it look pretty and nice and completed. The problem, they whitewashed everything without checking to make sure the job was done write. In our Bible Study this morning, ( a different group) we were in Hebrews 6, where it talks about the difference between believers and others, one produced a crop that was a blessing, the other produced thistles and thorns (my paraphrase – roses) that might have nice flowers and an incredible smell, but were not just inedible, but would actually injure a person.
At the end of devotions today, I came across this quote: You asked me to suggest a way for winning through in your daily struggles, and I replied: When you lay your soul open, say first of all what you wouldn’t like to be known. In this way the devil will always end up defeated. Lay your soul wide open, clearly and simply, so that the rays of God’s Love may reach and illuminate the last corner of it! (1)
It is one of the mysteries of life why we hide that which needs healing, and why that which is broken we cover. Having a five year old – it seems that this isn’t something we learn, but something that is part of our DNA. We don’t like going to doctors or dentists or auto-repair shops or having our houses or workplaces inspected, never mind having a review done. And in hiding the the broken in us that needs healing,, we must hide our hearts, our souls, we must cover them, and put on a mask that has a bright smile. That mask can, and does suffocate us, the false front we have to put up will slowly cause us to fade out, to expire.
The answer is simple – in Ezekiel – God will tear down the walls, or as St. Josemarie describes it – “laying open your soul”. St Peter talks of this as the Holy Spirit cutting their hearts open. For surely the strength to be honest and to deal with sin comes not from our internal instinct. We would continue to hide, to continue to pretend we are okay, covering up our brokenness with false smiles and quick, “I’m fine”.
The answer seems painful, it may cause anxiety the first dozen plus times, yet.. the freedom of letting those things be dealt with by God is amazing, it is wondrous, it breaks bondage and washes away anxiety and drives away the darkness, leaves us knowing God’s peace. To hear the words, yes, God forgives you your sin, you are cleansed, you are healed – to know that what was broken – God has put back together. If it seems to good to be true – remember this is God’s desire, as St Peter tells us:
3:9 The Lord is not being slow in carrying out his promises, as some people think he is; rather is he being patient with you, wanting nobody to be lost and everybody to be brought to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9 (NJB)
and as St John tells us, it is His promise
” If we say, ‘We have no sin,’ we are deceiving ourselves, and truth has no place in us; 9 if we acknowledge our sins, he is trustworthy and upright, so that he will forgive our sins and will cleanse us from all evil.” 1 John 1:8-9 (NJB)
and one more promise for good measure, from St. James:
5:16 So then, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you will be healed. The prayer of a good person has a powerful effect. James 5:16 (TEV)
So open your lives, find a pastor ( I know where one is waiting in Cerritos) or a priest- and hear for yourself – regarding those sins you don’t even want to admit to your self – that they are forgiven.
Lord have mercy, and show us that we can open up out hearts – that the mercy will cause us great joy!
(1)Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). The Forge (Kindle Locations 644-647). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.