I started my Saturday off feeling tired, cranky, and borderline obnoxious -- not my most appealing self. I was grouchy and I did not want to do a thing.
My husband was planning a family day by enjoying the day outside because it was a beautiful fall day, but I was a killjoy. And so we all ended up staying in that day.
Aware of my foul mood I knew I needed some help. I decided to go to confession. I was inspired by Pope Francis. During his US papal visit, I listened to an EWTN commentary that Pope Francis goes to confession every fifteen days. That's just amazing. The pope is super busy yet he makes time.
But as the day went on, I felt more and more sluggish. I curled up in bed and took a nap. As the time approached for me to leave for church, Martin asked if I was still going. "No," was my answer. I sounded like an uncooperative child.
I almost missed my appointment with God but something nudged me to get myself ready and in the car to make it on time. Thank you, my dear guardian angel! I hurriedly grabbed a quick lunch from the kitchen and then I was off.
Thankfully the line was not too long. There were five people ahead of me. I looked around and saw other parishioners getting ready for the vigil Mass. I thought about our guardian angels and how each person around me has a special appointed guardian angel protecting him or her. It's amazing how great God's love is for each one of us!
As I stood in line waiting my turn, I wondered if entering heaven would be like this, standing in line waiting to be admitted. With God's grace one day I will be waiting my turn to enter His heavenly kingdom!
I was also reminded of a few great saints -- St. Faustina, St. Padre Pio, and St. Jean Vianney -- and their experiences with the sacrament of reconciliation. There is a beautiful story of St. Faustina as her confessor did not believe that she was having visions of Our Lord. Her confessor told her to ask Christ what his last sin was. She asked the Lord and He replied, "I do not remember." Jesus forgives and forgets, throwing our sins away.
Saints Padre Pio and Jean Vianney were known to spend hours at the confessional. St. Padre Pio had the gift of knowing if a sinner was with holding any unconfessed sin. And St. Jean Vianney, the Curé of Ars, was known to hear confessions up to eighteen hours a day.
For some time now I had been dealing with a variety of challenges such as my own healing and recovery, my mom's surgery, and my son's doctors' appointments. All of these plus the regular duties of being a stay at home mom had pushed me to exhaustion, mentally and spiritually.
It was time, my time to reconcile with God. As I walked into the confessional I was greeted by the retired priest who also happened to hear my last confession. He gently counseled me and said that he would pray for my healing and more importantly for peace and patience. As he said those words and granted me absolution I knew and felt every burden fade away. The power of confession is truly healing, miraculous, and much needed in our lives today.
By the time I got home all was well with me. I happily worked in the kitchen and started prepping for dinner. It was like I was a new person!
Personally I don't like carrying the weight of sin. It is a heavy, awful burden. Pushing confession off is pushing God off to the side and acting like we don't need Him. It's just like Adam and Eve who disobeyed God and hid from Him. The truth is no one can hide from God.
The saints and Pope Francis are wonderful examples of holiness, but we are all called to be holy. If you haven't taken advantage of the Sacrament of Reconciliation in a while, I encourage you to do so.
Make time for Him. Make that appointment with God and be reconciled and renewed.