Admitting You Have a Problem: Forgiveness Bible Study Day 9

noshame

From today’s reflection:

Today’s passage is definitely soap opera worthy. Heck, give this story to the writers of Game of Thrones and you could easily see this happening on HBO: A king lusts over the wife of one of his soldiers, sleeps with her, gets her pregnant, and then kills her husband by sending him over to the front lines where he was guaranteed to die.

This is one of King David’s worst moments. If this was a Shakespeare play, it could’ve been a serious permanent tragedy. And yet, in spite of all the drama, there was some good that came out in the end.

But what can we learn from all the tragedy and heartache?

Find out here!

The Fruits of Confession: Forgiveness Bible Study Day 8

intothelight

From today’s reflection:

Let’s take a look at a person who committed a sin that some people still haven’t forgiven. He betrayed Jesus around the hour of his death, abandoned Jesus even when he swore up and down that he would always be there for his Savior. In spite of the fact that he betrayed Christ, though, he still became a great leader. In fact, he becomes the head of the Church.

Yep, Saint Peter had an experience with confession, just as every other sinner who came to Jesus. The denial he made during that night that Jesus was put on trial was forgiven when Jesus asked Peter “Do you love me?” three times.

My friend Kristin shares her conversion story here!

 

Untangling Our Issues: Advent Reflections Week 1, Day 4

IMG_4500

Do you remember the things that you dream? Dreams are often absurd, but at the same time they are the subconscious’s way of processing things. I don’t remember my dreams often, but when I do, they usually mean something to me. I dreamt of dating whenever I was put into a situation where I met some cute guys. I used to have nightmares of running away from the things that scared me.

My latest dream, though, was a weird one. I dreamt that I was an assassin or some kind of mercenary with two other people. We were inside of a public bathroom when suddenly one of my teammates ends up shooting the both of us. I particularly remember being shot in the back and lying down on the floor with my fellow assassin/mercenary lying down next to me.

Then, all of a sudden, I hear someone yelling “CUT!” I get up as if nothing has happened, although there is a hole in my side. When the other assassin/mercenary gets up after and the three of us walk out of the bathroom, I realize that it was all just a movie. I chat things up with my fellow actors as if nothing is wrong and compliment them on how well they did on the scene.

I don’t really know if this dream means anything, but I think we can all relate to the idea of how our subconscious can end up troubling us in our waking life. I’ve mentioned in a previous post how sin can make us avoid change out of guilt or pride. One wonderful thing about the Sacrament of Reconciliation is that it helps us untangle the messy parts of ourselves.

I wasn’t able to really clear my head about my dream until I finally wrote it down and accepted that I won’t understand it completely. In a similar way, our consciences can never really be clear until we acknowledge that we are sinful. Through Confession, we confront our problems and find a way to understand and deal with them.

One reason Catholics confess their sins to a priest is because God acts through the priest. When the priest absolves us of our sins, we trust that God has completely forgiven us and will always love us.

The year of Mercy will officially start at the feast of the Immaculate Conception, but some parishes in my area have already started on the Year of Mercy by holding reconciliation services. Reconciliation services are days where priests go to a church to hear Confessions outside of the regularly scheduled time. Check if there’s one going on in your parish this month.

Anxiety, Avoidance Issues, and the Beauty of Reconciliation

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

It all started with this Twitter conversation:

Jasmin Marsters is the wife of James Marsters AKA Spike on Buffy. She’s an actress/model/musician who also does some writing and production for independent films. I like what she shares on her Twitter and Instagram, even though we may not always agree.

My avoidance issue had to do with the fact that when I was having a mini-meltdown, I did everything but turn to God. It wasn’t until I put pen to paper and wrote a letter to God that the anxiety finally left me. I often try to avoid my negative feelings and said avoidance only makes things worse. What happened to me reminded me that in good times and in bad, I have to turn to Him for help.

I also feel like what Jasmin said relates to the nature of how we react to our problems as well. Granted, there are some things that need to be avoided. There are things we aren’t ready to face yet. However, there’s also a time where we need to act like the bigger person and act kind towards someone we may not feel deserve it. It also applies to when we put off little things like doing the laundry or paying the bills. The problem won’t go away if you keep avoiding it. When it comes to being a person of faith, avoiding the things we struggle with isn’t going to help us.

One thing I love about being Catholic is the Sacrament of Reconciliation also known as Confession or Penance. Despite what some people may think about what Confession is, the truth is that Confession is there to help us face the problems we face.  Confession isn’t a “Catholic guilt” thing. It’s more of a reality check. We often have problems in our lives that feel out of our hands, so we ask people for help. Confession deals with the interior issues that we have to work on in order to become better people.  Matthew Kelly compares it to cleaning your car while Rachel and Kateri compared it to cleaning your room.

1 Corinthians 6:19 says “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own?”

When we go to Confession, we clean out the temples of our souls. We learn humility and receive grace and healing. Even if we struggle with the same problem, like an addiction, Confession will be there to help us get back up again.

Photo of the Day: The Nature of Confession

I decided to take CSLentIPJ’s photo prompt of “confession” and turn it into a writing prompt for this blog post.

During my MTV/VH1 phase, I saw this interview with The All-American Rejects where they talk about the making their music video “Dirty Little Secret.” The music video shows people holding index cards with drawings and various secrets written on them. Later on, I found out the website they got those secrets from, PostSecret. For a while, I was obsessed with the website. Sharing anonymous secrets has taken on a new form on social networking sites like Tumblr and Instagram. Tumblr provides the option of making “asks” anonymous. Some Instagram accounts I follow post a series of “confessionals” and share secrets about themselves with all of their followers.

Fr. Robert Barron goes into this whole phenomenon of sharing secrets and public confessions on one of his videos:

Fr. Dwight Longnecker explains the point of view of the penitent in his post that talks about his first Confession.

There’s something in our hearts that compels us to share our secrets and sins with someone. In spite of the declarations of “only God can judge” or “once saved always saved” or the idea of dualism that acts of the body don’t affect the soul, there’s still that desire for sympathy, for forgiveness, for acceptance in spite of our faults. We seek validation for our lives. We seek to improve ourselves. And sometimes, we seek solace.

Confession is unique in that it helps us acknowledge that we are not perfect, but we’re not completely broken either. It shows that no one is beyond saving and that God is a God of second chances.

So for my photo for today, I want to share this confession with you about something I’ve been called recently.

A confessional post that I posted on my Instagram.

A confessional post that I posted on my Instagram.