Thursday, June 26, 2008

Fessing Up

I just went to Confession this morning. From 9 to 10 a.m., my pastor and I talked. No, "talked" doesn't begin to capture it: In the presence of Jesus, I let it all hang out - all of my garbage, my struggles - and my pastor reflected back to me what he "heard the Holy Spirit addressing" in my life. Those were his words, his description of "spiritual direction" (very cool).

Have you been to Confession lately? It had been a number of months for me. (Oh, you haven't been in a year? 20 years? More? You're not going to shock God, and you aren't going to shock the priest either; they'll be grateful you're there!) This was the ministry that Jesus entrusted to the Apostles and their successors on the night of His Resurrection, “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained” (John 20:23). It's all about our healing. That's what the Apostle James taught the Church:

"Is any among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him...the prayer of faith will save the sick man, and the Lord will raise him up; and if he has committed any sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed." (James 5:14-16)

So GO - God has a gift that He wants you to come claim. Find the hope and healing you need. It's not a "magical" fix, but the strength that comes from knowing we are loved and supported no matter how we have fallen in the past. God Himself is present and He longs to give us the strength to do better than we have, to live past our failings.

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