Sunday, December 18, 2011

Confession:Preparing Within. By: C.C.

"Daily we can make an Advent examination. Are there any feelings of discrimination toward race, sex, or religion? Is there a lingering resentment, an unforgiven injury living in our hearts? Do we look down upon others of lesser social standing or educational achievement? Are we generous with the gifts that have been given to us, seeing ourselves as their stewards and not their owners? Are we reverent of others, their ideas and needs, and of creation? These and other questions become Advent lights by which we may search the deep, dark corners of our hearts." (Fr. Edward Hays)
We have finally arrived at our last week of Advent. How quickly these weeks have gone by. Children eagerly count down the remainder of days on their advent calendars awaiting Christmas morning.Many of us are potentially wishing for time to slow down just a little bit so that we can properly prepare for the demands of this holiday season. However, have we taken the time within this Advent to grow in a deeper relationship with God? Have we taken the time to slow down and keep perspective? Have we been "keeping Christ in Christmas"? Tonight at Church Fr. Michael made reference to the fast approach of Christmas and brought up the importance of preparing ourselves within for the coming of Jesus. He spoke of the ways that we take care in preparing our homes for company throughout the holiday season, patiently cleaning out each room to ensure that everything is presentable. He then went on to explain the importance of us doing the same within our hearts and souls. It is important that we clean up the clutter and mess around our heart and soul so that Jesus can truly dwell within us. We must take this time and continue to prepare ourselves within. In doing so I find it helpful to reflect upon the words of Fr. Edward Hays. These questions offer us with many things to think about and highlight some areas within us that need to be cleaned up, moved out, wiped away, and ultimately CONFESSED. Yes...confession! Another point well made tonight at mass. This wonderful sacrament is so often avoided, and yet, so desperately needed. There is nothing in it to be feared, but rather an immense freedom to be felt. Confession/reconciliation is a time for us Catholics to cleanse within. It is a time to break through a lot of the mess that prevents us from properly receiving Christ. A time to spiritually remove the burdens that hold us prisoner within ourselves. Confession is freedom. Many of you who frequent confession have hopefully experienced this freedom of which I speak. Hopefully you have felt the grace within this sacrament. There is no greater feeling than going to confession and receiving the Eucharist. If you have not been to confession in a long time Advent provides the perfect avenue for beginning again. You may ask "where would I begin?" I would suggest beginning right where you are. Reflect upon the things that hold you back from feeling connected to your faith, and to Jesus. Confess those things that weigh heavy upon your heart, the actions, thoughts, and emotions that make it difficult for you to have a relationship with God. Lord I pray tonight that You continue to help us prepare the way for the birth of Christ within us. Help us to acknowledge and bring the "dark corners of our hearts" to light. Lord provide courage to those who have fallen away from the sacrament of confession. May each one of us seek to clean out every room of our soul so that You may fully dwell within us. Lord thank You for Your mercy and forgiveness. Thank you for the gift of reconciliation. Watch over our Priests Lord and provide them with Your wisdom to guide those who are seeking counsel and peace. Give them the patience, understanding, and strength to endure the long hours of Advent confessions. May we all continue to reflect Your light this season and share our joy with those around us. Amen. (C.C.)

No comments:

Post a Comment