This morning I was reading the daily Gospel Reading, and was struck by Luke 5:8 When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at the knees of Jesus and said, “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.”. It really started me thinking, if this man our first Pope, the rock that the church is built on felt unworthy to be in the presence of Jesus. Yet Jesus kept the self proclaimed sinner in his presence and as his closest companion on earth. What an awesome display of forgiving sin. The joy Simon Peter must have felt knowing that what ever sin he may have committed are forgiven by our Lord.
I too have experience this forgiveness every day. I ask for it in prayer or by what I consider one of the greatest sacraments we are given penance. The relief I feel after confession and the burden I feel lifted off my shoulders is indescribable. Knowing that our savior has already forgotten my sins and loves me despite them is so overwhelming. I know its cliche but God hates the sin not the sinner. For those who have not been to confession in a long time or have never been, do not fear it, embrace it you will feel so much better afterwards. Jesus loves all of us sinners.
A Prayer of Contrition
Merciful Father I am guilty of sin I confess my sins before you and I am sorry for them. Your promises are just; therefore I trust that you will forgive my sins and cleanse me from every stain of sin. Jesus himself is the propitiation for my sins and the sin of the whole world. I put my hope in his atonement. May my sins be forgiven through His name and in His blood may my soul be made clean.
This past weekend was great. The weather was wonderful and we were able to grill outside on Sunday. God truly blessed us with a great day. The day started off with me going to the final RCIA class of the year. My wife who also went through the program and has been on the team for a few years now she was not able to do it because of our new baby, so I filled in. It was a great experience overall. I was able to lead a few of the classes, my favorite of the section I got to teach on Prayer. Prayer is an essential part of Catholic life. A prayer can be as simple as saying Thank you God. One book that I recommend is “To Whom Shall We Go? Lessons From the Apostle Peter” by Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Arch Bishop of New York, not just for it’s section on ways to pray but because it is a great book to assist in living a wonderful and fulfilling spiritual and Christian Life. I have read a few of Cardinal Dolan’s books and have been pleased with them all. Now to get back to my weekend, after the RCIA class, my wife, daughter, and I attended Mass. I get such a warm feeling at Mass with my family sitting there and knowing God is smiling down at us. We have taken my daughter since the first week she came home from the hospital and she has been great every time so far, thank God. Our Deacon who is in charge of the RICA program stopped by our pew as he always does on Sundays and asked my wife if she would be on the RICA team next year again and she said yes she would be on the team again. The deacon suggested we do it as a team and said that he knows it will be good because as he sees it, as a married couple we are a great team. That made my heart fill with happiness, I know my wife and I are great team but to hear someone actually validate this point is a wonderful testament to our marriage. In many ways this was a blessed and wonderful weekend.
As I stated in an earlier post about the items being collected for mothers in need, I go the name of the organization so that if you are able to help you can contact them. Friends of the Unborn in Quincy, MA.
O gracious Father, Maker and Preserver of heaven and earth, who in the beginning didst institute matrimony, thereby foreshadowing the mystical union of the Church with our Savior Christ, who, during His ministry upon earth, did honor marriage with His first miracle: help me, I pray Thee, by Thy grace to live in holiness and purity with the wife whom Thou hast given me. Mortify in me all violence of earthly passion, all selfishness and inconsiderateness (here name any besetting sin which may be a hindrance to you), that I may love her as Christ loved His Church, cherish and comfort her as my own body, and have as great care for her happiness as for my own. Grant that we may live in peace, without contention; in unity, without discord. [Give us, O Lord, discreet heart and understanding minds, to bring up our children in Thy faith and fear, that they may be obedient to Thee and to Thy commandments, and to all that Thou requirest of them in their duties towards their parents.] And give us, O Lord, a sufficiency of those things necessary to maintain ourselves and our family according to that rank and calling wherein Thou hast placed us, without excess or vainglory, in singleness and pureness of heart. Grant this for Jesus Christ’s sake, to Whom, with Thee and the Holy Ghost, be all honor and glory, now and for ever.
I have been looking forward to today all week, my wife and daughter have been away visiting my in-laws in Western, PA., and they are coming home today. Although I missed them very much while they were away, I was very happy that my daughter and wife were able to spend time with my in-laws. When I spoke to my grandmother-in-law this week she sounded so happy to have my baby girl rolling around her floor. I was also glad to hear that they took her to their church, Elim Lutheran Church in Anita, PA. The church is their family church and is a beautiful old church. I want her to know that even though we are Catholic and they are Lutheran we are all Christians, I want her to see the great faith of her great-grandmother in a small church in Pennsylvania is just as strong as any persons faith that I have met, she is someone who lives by the words of Christ and is a great example for any faithful person. (John 15:12 NASB “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.”). I have been to a service at her church and was moved by the faith of the handful in the congregation, they were once larger in numbers but with people moving away and younger people and people in my generation that have lost their way attendance has dwindled but the faithful carry on. It is sad and wonderful all at the same time, sad because the lack of people and wonderful because the people there are so faithful and truly are there for the right reasons. I pray every day that they are able to keep this congregation of faith together. Matthew 18:20 NASB “For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.”. I know his plan will be what is best for this church and the faithful that gather there. Christ look down upon all of your faithful followers at Elim Lutheran Church and smile upon them with your love. Amen.