“Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. The sins I have committed since my last confession are the following...” I enumerated my sins and waited for the priest to give me penance and absolution. But before doing so, the priest spoke words of wisdom and love to me that almost brought me to tears as I was listening. First, he asked me what led or moved me to commit some sins of omission. When I told him some of the factors that led me to commit some of them, he even tried to give me some excuse. Then, he built me up by saying that I have established very good habits and that I should persevere in practicing them to ensure that my faith would always be strong. He encouraged me to be more loving and generous. After he has said those words, he finally gave me my penance and absolution.
I was moved by the words of the priest because I felt God’s mercy through him. I felt God speaking to me words of compassion and understanding. It felt like God Himself was comforting me, dispelling my guilt and pointing out to me that basically I have a good heart and that I just need to be reminded that goodness is my nature because I am His child. The reflection from Didache today echoes this message. “We are all sinners in God’s eyes. But with mercy He sees the goodness in our hearts. There is hope for us in God.”
God’s love and mercy moves me to strive to be more Christ-like. It inspires me to go beyond my challenges, difficulties and weaknesses. It gives me hope because God Himself believes in me. His belief in me empowers me to push beyond my perceived personal limits and to achieve things that sometimes seem impossible or very difficult to do. Yesterday, I thanked God again for the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Truly, it was an encounter with our merciful God and Father. I felt so blessed to be His child!